Archive for December 2012

Utah Teacher David Cox on Common Core   11 comments

On Common Core: Education Without Representation

As it is going, teachers will be little more than robots, constricted in everything they do.

Guest Post by Utah Teacher David Cox

When I was first hired, what one taught was decided by the texts that teachers and the principal decided upon.

So I had a great deal of say.  It was school based, though the state had recommendations of what, and at what grade level, but recommendations were all they were.

Some time after Nation at Risk, 1983, it became the vogue thing for districts to write up “standards.”  That came about to counter what so many teachers were being taught by constructivist professors (as one of mine at BYU did) that, “If you want to cover the text…(wait for it) use a dish towel.”  You were to teach what they, the students, wanted to learn.  It was “democratic” learning (student driven).  In other words “just teach whatever!”  The standards movement came about to stop constructivism, because the Back-to-Basics movement wasn’t able to, since it was directed at teachers and not the professors, who were the source.  Alpine SD used teachers, I was one of many, who wrote these and lesson plans to go with them in the old ACE (Alpine Curriculum for Excellence).  It actually was very good –and specific.

Then the State Board of Education decided they had to get into the act and State Standards were created through USOE.  These were much inferior to the ACE.  At first we were able to “align” the standards together, which I worked on using Career Ladder monies.  Finally they were shoved down our throats and we had to give up the ACE for these inferior state standards, which were quite non-specific.

Now we are having National Standards crammed down our throats, which will be backed up with tests that will end up dictating even the methods used to teach.  Why?  (Here’s the irony.)  Because they are being created by professors who are as constructivist in philosophy as the original standards movement was created to get rid of!  And these “standards” (inferior to many states’ previous standards and heavily influenced by the aforementioned philosophy) are being required in order to get federal dollars and wavers from NCLB.  How can any district back out?

And as these become entrenched in a few years the politically correct police from Washington will start telling us EXACTLY what we can and can’t teach (history will be added, think of how that will be slanted) and how, and it will be things we in Utah will disagree with strongly depending on the administration in power.  What’s worse, there will be no other choice.  Already charter schools are being required next year to teach it, and even private schools will be required to become accredited, of which the first requirement will be to adopt the national curriculum.  The next step, as has happened in Sweden this past year, even home schooling will be abolished.  Do you see why I’m terrified?!

I’ve watched it happen from day one and followed it very closely.  I’ve seen all the changes, and it isn’t better.  Back then, you couldn’t guarantee perfect teaching, but many teachers did a very good job.

As it is going, teachers will be little more than robots, constricted in everything they do.

This will almost prohibit great teaching.

The real irony is that conservatives tried to forcibly get rid of the faulty constructivist teaching by using government power with the standards and accountability movement.  And after getting the force of government in place, liberals turned it around and took control and are in the process of completely implementing their agenda.  If they had truly understood human agency and the real conservative philosophy, they would never have tried to use government to “guarantee” correct philosophy, because if you give government enough power to control it, it will end up controlling you.

Here is why I strongly oppose Common Core:


As a retired teacher, former legislator, and grandparent, I am strongly opposed to the Common Core for three main reasons.

 1. I want standards, not standardization. Standardization forces everyone to come down to a common level, the lowest common denominator. Locally adopted or created standards build the intellects and support of and from the local parents and teachers. Nationally imposed “standards” bring avoidance and lack of responsibility along with agendas I oppose, such as #2.

2. The philosophy of those who created Common Core is constructivism. They believe the student must construct their own set of knowledge (discovery learning). This is the philosophy that gave us “Whole Language” instead of reading, English, and spelling. It gave us “Investigations Math” instead of real math. It dumbed-down history and geography into “Social Studies.” The Common Core itself is dumbing-down Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus into Math 1 and 2, etc.

3. Finally, though the standards themselves were not directly created by the national government, they are being imposed by incentives. The real nationalizing threat comes from the tests that ARE nationally created and which drive the implementation of the standards. I want our schools to listen to the parents, not to Washington politicians and educrats.

The real answer to improvement will only come when we give both freedom and responsibility to the local community. That is the story of America, the story Europeans didn’t (and still don’t) believe, that, given freedom to either succeed or fail, the common man will usually do what is necessary to succeed. Nationally imposed education will not do this, neither will vouchers, which would only, with the funding, pass on the government interference that is hampering the public schools to private schools. To solve this we need to create new, community-sized school districts. Doing this will bring the community together on behalf of their own children. The adults will grow in the process of local decision-making and control of education, and that will then raise the children.
Only by creating new smaller districts will we return liberty and responsibility to the local parents and teachers. Only then will true accountability be accomplished. Only then will true educational quality and efficiency be possible to achieve. It truly takes a community to educate a child. We cannot lift the children without lifting the adults too.
That cannot be accomplished by nationally created and imposed standards.
It takes governing from the local level to lift and build the people. That is what the United – “States” are all about.

-by David Cox

A Literacy Expert Opposes the Common Core Standards   1 comment

A Literacy Expert Opposes the Common Core Standards.

Diane Ravitch has posted this information, given by a USC linguistics professor, Stephen Krashen, a literacy expert.

He writes that Common Core’s excessive detail will:

(1) dictate the order of presentation of aspects of literacy
(2) encourage a direct teaching, skill-building approach to teaching.
Both of these consequences run counter to a massive amount of research and experience.

There is very good evidence from both first and second language acquisition that aspects of language and literacy are naturally acquired in a specific order that cannot be altered by instruction (C. Chomsky, 1969, The Acquisition of Syntax in Children from 5 to 10. Cambridge: MIT Press; Krashen, S. 1981, Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning, Pergamon Press, available at

There is also very good evidence that we acquire language and literacy best not through direct instruction but via “comprehensible input” – for literacy, this means reading, especially reading that the reader finds truly interesting, or “compelling.” (Krashen, S. 2010.The Goodman/Smith Hypothesis, the Input Hypothesis, the Comprehension Hypothesis, and the (Even Stronger) Case for Free Voluntary Reading. In: Defying Convention, Inventing the Future in Literacy Research and Practice: Essays in Tribute to Ken and Yetta Goodman. P. Anders (Ed.) New York: Routledge. 2010. pp. 46-60. Available at

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As has often been noted:  the wonderfully informative insights about the flaws of Common Core are so important, but not nearly so important as the fact that Common Core puts into cement teaching philosophies that cannot be altered by the people using them.

There is no voice and no vote. Teachers and citizens have nothing to do with what will be decided upon to be taught. Only the central planners can alter or amend the standards.  That’s the NGA/CCSSO:  National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief State School Officers.  Nobody else.  Does that sound constitutional to you?

Sandra Stotsky on Common Core’s confusing way of teaching writing skills   1 comment

Remember Sandra Stotsky?  She’s the brilliant Arkansas professor with the courage to stand up and say no to the common core standards, when she served on the official Common Core Validation Committee and she realized they were not, in fact, going to prepare children legitimately for college.  She is also the wonderful woman who offered to work with the state of Utah (for free!) to help write legitimate, high educational standards rather than to see us remain on the faulty Common Core bandwagon.  (Our state leaders have not taken her up on this generous offer.)
This brand new Sandra Stotsky article is highly recommended:

In it, Sandra Stotsky explains in detail,  looking at individual standards at a time, exactly how confusing the teaching and learning process becomes, as outlined by common core writing standards. She shows that concepts are expected to be used in essays to be written by sixth graders, for example, but the concepts were never previously introduced or taught.

This is forcing teachers to invent worksheets and writing samples to quickly scaffold students to the missing concepts without having allotted space and time to do so. It also leaves the slower learners at a disadvantage.

Additionally, Stotsky makes the point that there is no way for the flaws in common core to be altered by a vote or by a locality.  Neither those flaws which are now known nor  those yet to be discovered can be changed except by the central planners who copyrighted the standards: the NGA/CCSSO (National Governors’ Association and Council of Chief State School Officers).  —Who are not, by the way, teachers.

From Caffeinated Thoughts Blog: Private Schools Are No Longer Free Under Common Core Constraints   7 comments

I’m reposting Shane Vander Hart’s blog post.  I think it’s important that people understand his point: that even private schools will no longer enjoy the freedoms they have enjoyed previously if they accept federal monies in the form of school choice vouchers, because they will then be forced to obey the mandates and curricular guidance of the Common Core Initiative.  This desperately needs attention and discussion among among parents and voters nationally.


Private Schools – You Should Be Concerned About the Common Core

|December 12, 2012 | 2 Replies

Through popular school choice efforts several states like Indiana and Louisiana have adopted school vouchers.  While that seems great, and I am a proponent of school choice, vouchers seem to have unintended consequences for those who pushed for them – in that they give government a foot-in-the-door so to speak.  Because of this I’m concerned about a collective silence from private schools about the Common Core State Standards.

And Florida Governor Rick Scott is pushing for that very thing.  He said that students who receive tax dollars should be held to the same standards that apply to public schools.

That would be the Common Core folks.

Florida has adopted them.  Louisiana has some strings attached with their voucher program in the form of assessments.  Iowa even though they don’t have a voucher system (they offer a tax credit for donations made to school tuition organizations) private schools who are accredited through the Iowa Department of Education.  This is the only body who can accredit non-public schools at the moment.  Let’s put this in perspective failing public schools in Iowa are accredited.  Parents also can only access school tuition organization money if they are sending their child to an accredited non-public school.  Non-public schools don’t have to be accredited, but their parents can’t receive the tuition assistance.

So private school parents, teachers, administrators and boards – wake up.  You need to be concerned about the Common Core State Standards.  If you are forced to adopt these standards what choice will we really have?

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

Shane Vander Hart is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts.  He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  He is a communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has also served as an interim pastor and is a sought after speaker and pulpit fill-in.  Shane has been married to his wife Cheryl since 1993 and they have three kids.  Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +.

Rhode Island Teacher Quits Over Standardization of Education: Viral Video   Leave a comment

Stephen Round, a lifelong Rhode Island teacher, read his quitting letter aloud on YouTube.  He objects to one-size-fits-all education.  As do we.

NC Teacher Kris Nielsen Quits –and Explains Why   2 comments

Academic analyst Diane Ravitch posted a letter from North Carolina teacher Kris Nielsen two months ago.

In the letter, teacher Kris Nielsen wrote about his reasons for quitting, as he did again in another article I saw today.  I’m posting both.  First, excerpts from his letter:


Kris L. Nielsen

Union County Public Schools

Human Resources Department

400 North Church Street Monroe, NC 28112

October 25, 2012

To All it May Concern:

I’m doing something I thought I would never do—something that will make me a statistic and a caricature of the times.  Some will support me, some will shake their heads and smirk condescendingly—and others will try to convince me that I’m part of the problem.  Perhaps they’re right, but I don’t think so.  All I know is that I’ve hit a wall, and in order to preserve my sanity, my family, and the forward movement of our lives, I have no other choice.

…I am resigning my position as a teacher in the state of North Carolina…



I refuse to be led by a top-down hierarchy that is completely detached from the classrooms for which it is supposed to be responsible.

I will not spend another day under the expectations that I prepare every student for the increasing numbers of meaningless tests.

I refuse to be an unpaid administrator of field tests that take advantage of children for the sake of profit.

I will not spend another day wishing I had some time to plan my fantastic lessons because administration comes up with new and inventive ways to steal that time, under the guise of PLC meetings or whatever.  I’ve seen successful PLC development.  It doesn’t look like this.

I will not spend another day wondering what menial, administrative task I will hear that I forgot to do next.  I’m far enough behind in my own work.

I will not spend another day wondering how I can have classes that are full inclusion, and where 50% of my students have IEPs, yet I’m given no support.

I will not spend another day in a district where my coworkers are both on autopilot and in survival mode.  Misery loves company, but I will not be that company.

I refuse to subject students to every ridiculous standardized test that the state and/or district thinks is important.

I refuse to have my higher-level and deep thinking lessons disrupted by meaningless assessments (like the EXPLORE test) that do little more than increase stress among children and teachers, and attempt to guide young adolescents into narrow choices.

I totally object and refuse to have my performance as an educator rely on “Standard 6.”  It is unfair, biased, and does not reflect anything about the teaching practices of proven educators.

I refuse to hear again that it’s more important that I serve as a test administrator than a leader of my peers.

I refuse to watch my students being treated like prisoners.  There are other ways.  It’s a shame that we don’t have the vision to seek out those alternatives.

I refuse to watch my coworkers being treated like untrustworthy slackers through the overbearing policies of this state, although they are the hardest working and most overloaded people I know.

I refuse to watch my family struggle financially as I work in a job to which I have invested 6 long years of my life in preparation.  I have a graduate degree and a track record of strong success, yet I’m paid less than many two-year degree holders.  And forget benefits—they are effectively nonexistent for teachers in North Carolina.

I refuse to watch my district’s leadership tell us about the bad news and horrific changes coming towards us, then watch them shrug incompetently, and then tell us to work harder.

I refuse to listen to our highly regarded superintendent telling us that the charter school movement is at our doorstep (with a soon-to-be-elected governor in full support) and tell us not to worry about it, because we are applying for a grant from Race to the Top.  There is no consistency here; there is no leadership here.

I refuse to watch my students slouch under the weight of a system that expects them to perform well on EOG tests, which do not measure their abilities other than memorization and application and therefore do not measure their readiness for the next grade level—much less life, career, or college.

I’m tired of watching my students produce amazing things, which show their true understanding of 21st century skills, only to see their looks of disappointment when they don’t meet the arbitrary expectations of low-level state and district tests that do not assess their skills.

I refuse to hear any more about how important it is to differentiate our instruction as we prepare our kids for tests that are anything but differentiated.  This negates our hard work and makes us look bad.

I am tired of hearing about the miracles my peers are expected to perform, and watching the districts do next to nothing to support or develop them.  I haven’t seen real professional development in either district since I got here.  The development sessions I have seen are sloppy, shallow, and have no real means of evaluation or accountability.

I’m tired of my increasing and troublesome physical symptoms that come from all this frustration, stress, and sadness.

Finally, I’m tired of watching parents being tricked into believing that their children are being prepared for the complex world ahead, especially since their children’s teachers are being cowed into meeting expectations and standards that are not conducive to their children’s futures.

I’m truly angry that parents put so much stress, fear, and anticipation into their kids’ heads in preparation for the EOG tests and the new MSLs—neither of which are consequential to their future needs.  As a parent of a high school student in Union County, I’m dismayed at the education that my child receives, as her teachers frantically prepare her for more tests.  My toddler will not attend a North Carolina public school.  I will do whatever it takes to keep that from happening.

I quit because I’m tired being part of the problem.  It’s killing me and it’s not doing anyone else any good.  Farewell.


Thank you for your courage, honesty and clear articulation of the problem teachers face today, Kris.  Here is the other article, also reposted from Kris Nielsen with links to original below.


Kris Nielsen: I (Used to) Love Teaching

                                                                                        By Anthony Cody on October 26, 2012 11:52 AM

Guest post by Kris Nielsen.

This post was originally published here on his blog, Middle Grades Mastery. A modified version was sent to President Obama.

I love teaching. Or, I did love teaching. I loved teaching when my job was to teach. Now, I don’t love teaching, because my job is no longer teaching.

Was that introduction awkward enough? That’s kind of how my job feels: awkward, frustrating, backwards, stifling, and redundant. Breaking away from the comparison to the introduction, I’d like to add demeaning, thankless, exhausting, fruitless, unappreciated, lonely, undemocratic, unfulfilling, and major energy drain.

But, please, let me explain my whining. I’m not generally a whiner, so I feel that when I do moan and complain, I should have some good reasons, and maybe even some solutions. (Before you get your hopes up, I’m not going to offer any solutions. I’ve tried that; it’s pointless.)

I look back and I believe that my entry into the world of teaching had the worst possible timing. I got my teaching certificate late 2006 and spent the first two years of my career teaching Earth science to 6th graders. I created my own curriculum, based loosely on the New Mexico state standards. My kids loved it! I kept them busy with hands-on, student centered learning that built vocabulary and concepts along the way. I based my lessons on real-life problems, invited community scientists into my classroom, let students create their own projects, and had a solid stream of parent volunteers and visitors in and out of my door. My students led their own parent conferences, with me sitting close by to monitor the discussion and answer clarifying questions. My students had good grades and, much less importantly, had high scores on the New Mexico Standards-Based Assessment at the end of the year.

After two years, I believed I had gained enough valuable experience to become more mobile. A college professor told me that teaching was awesome because you could go anywhere in the United States and always have a job. So, I gave my colleagues a fond farewell and moved to Oregon, a state that I had always dreamed of living in. I was lucky to get my job there–I beat out over 80 other applicants to teach math to middle school kids. I taught the Connected Math curriculum and worked closely with a group of professionals who shared my goals. It was awesome. I taught math like I taught science: hands-on, student-centered, constructivist, discovery learning. Again, I saw great success, especially with minority students and English language learners. I had students coming from the high school thanking me for giving them hope when they were sure they wouldn’t make it past 9th grade. Two girls–children of immigrant parents–told me they knew they would be the first to go to college in their families, and they thanked me for it. Teaching in Oregon was amazing.

Then, the floor fell out. I could blame conservatives for the bone-cutting budget reductions, but it was everyone’s fault. My district found itself in deep shortfall and cut over 350 teaching jobs. Having been there only two years, I was on the chopping block. My principal was dismayed, my colleagues were shocked, parents were mad, and kids were upset. My union was apparently powerless, despite my pleas, to do anything. Seniority stays. I was not seniority.

In shock and sadness, I spent over four months looking for a job. I filled out over 300 applications and had three interviews. Those three interviews represented my competition with hundreds of displaced teachers. I was not hired. So, I looked outside the Oregon state borders. After a Google search for cities that were hiring teachers, Charlotte, North Carolina was number two. I went from looking at the nine classified jobs in Salem, Oregon (none of which I could do), to sifting through over 350 teaching jobs in Charlotte. It was mindblowing. How did this city need so many teachers? I applied for about 15 jobs, got callbacks on ten, and interviewed over the phone with three. The first interview landed me a job over the phone. My family and I packed up and drove across the country.

Let me emphasize that: my incredibly supportive (and adventurous) family sacrificed and adjusted just so I could keep teaching.

It was an exciting and daunting prospect and I was nervous. The staff at my new school was pleasant, helpful, and upbeat. The district orientation was disheartening (I felt like I was being hired at Kmart). The students were initially eager and well-behaved. The union was non-existent, which I didn’t really mind after my ordeal in Oregon. The administrators were generally professional and friendly, with only a minor “corporate” stench. I felt good about the arrangement.

What they didn’t tell me in orientation was that I would not have time to teach anything meaningful. I was hired to teach science and the exact same math I had taught in Oregon, but this was different. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is a district that is drowning in its own mandates, risk-taking, and testing culture. I think CMS is a microcosm of what’s to come in American education. It’s depressing. I didn’t like it, so I did some research. An adjacent district was hiring some math and science people and I was attracted to two main things: it was closer to home and they had rolled out a one-to-one laptop initiative recently. Every student was carrying a laptop in class every day. I had to get into one of those classrooms!

To make that story short, I did. It’s no different. Despite the lofty ideals and motivating speeches from administration, everything is the same. I’m not an educator, by the definition I had comes to terms with; I’m an employee of a system that has an agenda. My job is to frontload a small encyclopedia of knowledge to a group of students so that they can pass a test at the end of the year. There are now more shallow and meaningless tests, and my job now depends on the scores. That’s not teaching. That’s not what I do.

I’ve heard this several times already: “If you’re teaching students to learn and letting them discover the knowledge, then shouldn’t they be able to pass those tests easily?” At first, I thought, “Yeah! Totally!” But after trying it, I don’t think it makes sense. Standardized tests are rigidly specific in the knowledge kids should have. They are bent way over into the realm of vocabulary and multiple-choice answers-and they don’t even come close to teaching 21st century skills. If I teach my kids how to think and how to learn, then they will not be prepared to pass state tests, because that’s not what those tests are measuring. The tests measure two things: memory and application. The second one is important, but not in a multiple-choice or short-answer sphere.

So that’s the long story. Here are some more reasons I can’t do this anymore. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel good about how a lesson played out, only to check my email afterwards to find no fewer than five menial tasks that I must dedicate my time to. This is time when I should be planning more lessons, conferencing with parents, and learning.

I fight against poverty every day, knowing that I can’t save everyone. And no one in power seems to care. All I hear are excuses. I hate excuses.  I’m teetering on the poverty line myself, always running out of money by the third week of the month. And my family lives very frugally.

I have no health coverage for my family, because it would cost over a quarter of my pay. 
My take home pay is roughly equivalent to that of a full-time customer service manager at Walmart. I make less if you take into account the hours I work. I worked diligently through a master’s degree program to increase my efficacy as a teacher. I was rewarded with being treated like a disposable cog in a broken gear. My coworkers are downtrodden and frustrated.

My students are falling apart. They have little hope. I don’t blame them. They are reminded every year of their failure to pass meaningless tests and they watch the news that tells them they are dumber than the rest of the world. That piece of information is not true, by any means, but you can tell it affects them. And no one stands up to tell them they are doing fine.

I wanted to be part of the fix. I wanted to save the world. But every day I see powers greater than me stomp us down and tell us to get back into the classroom and be glad we even have jobs. If this is the way that public education treats professionals, then it’s time for me to find a new field.

I give up. They win. I have joined the ranks of parents who have come to realize that we are only empowered to do one thing: take care of our own. I hope that things change, but I don’t have the energy, the money, or the time to continue beating my head into a wall. And if the choices have run out for my toddler when he’s ready for school, I will do it myself. Maybe I’ll do it for others, as well.

Kris L. Nielsen has been a middle grades educator for six years in New Mexico, Oregon, and North Carolina. After watching the field of education change in appalling ways, he decided to start blogging about how teachers and principals can create positive change in their own classrooms and schools.  Kris is an activist against the bipartisan, corporate education reforms and has had his writing featured in several online magazines and blogs.  Kris currently lives in North Carolina, where he is working on his first book, Maximizing the Middle: Rethinking Middle Level Education in the 21st Century.

Dear Readers   Leave a comment

Dear Readers,

Sometimes I look at the search terms that have brought you here.   Some of you have typed terms like “I can’t stand teaching anymore common core,” for example.

I would like to hear and share your stories- especially students, teachers’ and parents’ stories.

Please email me if you would like to post your experiences, perspectives and stories here, anonymously or not.   Write “What Is Common Core” in the subject heading so I can recognize and open the email.

Thank you.


Bill Ayers’ Advice to the Extreme Left Wing: It’s Easiest to Take Over Schools and Classrooms – Video: In His Own Words   4 comments

Extreme Leftist Bill Ayers (skip to 2:15) says here that leftists who plan to transform the American way  should forget about the White House and Congress and focus on where they have “absolute access:  schools… classrooms… shops…”

Lord Have Mercy: Music Tribute to Sandy Hook Sufferers   2 comments

Posted December 20, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , ,

A Homeschool Update   7 comments

We’ve been doing homeschool for my fourth grader since October.

It’s so much fun! 

Having a two year old next to a fourth grader means that sometimes we’re schooling in the hall, watching the baby take a two hour bath next to the open door.  It means that sometimes, we have to send the fourth grader into a quiet room with a locked door because the two year old is tantruming and it’s hard to focus in that environment.  It means that I rarely dust and barely get the groceries bought before we’re out of everything.  Sometimes the laundry and other to-do lists sit for days.  I haven’t perfected my systems. But in the midst of the imperfection, it feels like a kind of perfection.

My priorities are teaching my kids and enjoying our lives, before challenging the dust or laundry or almost anything else.

We learn a ton, have a lot of laughs and a lot of fun.

A few weeks ago, we drove to Camp Floyd, a historic site in Utah, to learn about Utah history in the 1800s.

Another day, we went to the local Recreation center to play basketball.

We go to the library, often.

We went one day to the church quilting project, to make Christmas quilts for jail inmates.  My son learned how to tie a quilt.

We are so free.

No set of Common Core standards.  No dumb school assemblies.  No asking strangers for their permission to spend time with my own child.

We are in charge of our schooling.

Every day, we read scriptures, writes a verse in cursive, and we talk about it.  Some days it’s the Book of Mormon. Some days it’s the New Testament. Today we read the story of Daniel and his three friends who were kidnapped by King Nebuchadnezzar from Jerusalem and taken far from home, never to return.  (I hadn’t remembered the full story. Did you know that Daniel and his friends were to be killed because they were considered wise men, and the king didn’t believe in his wise men anymore because nobody could tell him both what he’d dreamed and interpret the dream?  So Daniel and his friends prayed and God revealed the king’s dream and also its interpretation to Daniel– a great, great miracle.  It saved Daniel’s life, but more importantly, it taught the king that there is a God who does give power to human beings on conditions of faithfulness to Him.

We have been studying geography a lot (he now knows where the countries of Central and South America are, where the counties of Utah are, and is beginning on the Caribbean Islands.)  There are fun and free online games for Geography students.

We have been studying history. He now knows all about the founding of our nation– the first five presidents in detail– and about early North and South American explorers– de Soto, Hudson, Erikson, Columbus, Magellan, Lewis & Clark, etc., and now we’re reading about 14th century Europe.

We read about the Bubonic plague, the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Vikings.  I plan to make a giant timeline going all around his bedroom, where he can draw things he’s learned about through history.

Some days I make him diagram sentences, with verb, subject, preposition, direct object, adverbs, adjectives, articles, etc.

Some days I have him correct sentence errors– commas, capitalization, apostrophes, etc.

Some days he does an art project.  Some days he takes great photos for his little photography portfolio.

Some days he does a science experiment or looks at things under his microscope and writes about them.

Some days I teach him how to spell a very difficult word and I test him on it later in the day.

Some days we read Swedish books and do Swedish vocabulary or Swedish grammar sheets that I write myself.

One day, we spent the whole day studying volcanoes.  We watched some great YouTube clips about volcanoes.  I liked the one from Bill Nye the Science Guy.  We also read about them in books.  We found them in science and in literature.  And they were in our text, “What Your Fourth Grader Needs To Know.”

I let curiosity guide us.  I don’t keep a tight leash on our curriculum, with two strict exceptions:  every day, a chapter of Saxon math and every day, he has to write an essay.

His essays can be poems, journal entries, fiction stories, reports about what he’s been learning, letters to Santa or to a great aunt… he just has to write every day, about a page (a little less, or a lot more than a page, every day).

All the other subjects are covered, but not each day, and not for any set amount of time.  Our curiosity determines what we study, with those two exceptions I noted.

Today, as usual, we did a chapter of Saxon math.  I usually sit with him for the first half, and then set him to answer the 30 questions that are after each lesson.  I usually put dots on a handful of the questions meaning “skip these” if I know he knows the review problems very, very well, so he can fly through.  I am trying to keep it interesting and invigorating, not dreadfully heavy, so he’ll love to learn and love math.  He’s going to be in the sixth grade book very soon.

Today we read in our Usborn science book (very colorful and thick book which I love) all about the periodic table (we just scanned it) and we talked about why there are groups in one row and periods in another row, and how cool the elements are and how interesting it is that these metals and nonmetals and semi-metals are in everything around us, even in our foods and in our bodies, and how they make jewels and everything on earth.  We already knew in detail about the Halogens, but we’ll read about the elements and the rocks they are found in, next week.

    We read a few more chapters in “The Hobbit” by Tolkien, today.  He can’t get enough.  I have to drag him away to do his writing or to eat lunch. When he finishes the book, I’ll take him to see the movie but he must promise to look away during the war scenes. He is only 9 and it’s a PG-13 movie which will certainly be more violent than I want to see, let alone allow a 9 year old to see.  But we both love the story.  It’s full of new vocabulary words for him (it’s way above a fourth grade reading level) and it enlivens his imagination.  He reads it silently sometimes, and we read it together aloud, some times.

     This week, we visited his grandfather, a retired Pan American Airlines captain, to have a lesson on how airplanes fly.  Grandpa/Morfar also taught my son his math out of the Saxon math book, and taught him how to tie ropes (scouting) and next week, we’re going with Grandpa to a field trip to the swimming pool to learn how to dive, since Grandpa/Morfar used to teach swimming lessons years ago.

He’s also doing a project that his stepfather created for him.  They bought supplies to do an experiment.  My son has to do the experiment and then, using the receipt from Wal-Mart of the supply list, he has to figure out how much each “kit” costs and how much each part of the kit costs (100 paper clips for $1.37 for example) and then he gets to assess the materials (research and development).

He just finished writing a story.   I guided the story by saying it had to be in cursive and it had to include two new vocabulary words: “aileron” and “frond” –but other than that, anything goes.  He did a great job.  He wrote a vivid adventure that involved an emergency landing of an airplane into a jungle that had mosquitoes the size of your head.

And during recess, he decided to create his own musical instrument.  He used a rubber band, a toilet paper tube, a piece of paper, a screw, a paper clip, some tape and a pipe cleaner.  It really works, too.

He is getting more and more creative; also wiser.  He recognized and pointed out to me an analogy from “The Hobbit” that he saw which reminded him of common core education.  Common Core was a goblin bent on making certain useful –but only useful and never beautiful– tools.   I guess he was listening when I was ranting about Common Core architect David Coleman and his removal of narrative writing and classic literature from the common core, and I said that literature is for soaring, for beauty and joy, and not just for basic employability.

He read to me:

“... armed goblins were standing round him carrying the axes and bent swords that they use. Now goblins are cruel, wicked and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they can make many clever ones.”

– p. 62, The Hobbit.

What more can I say?

Give Your Children Dickens For Christmas – They Won’t Be Reading Dickens in High School   Leave a comment

I love Charles Dickens.

— Love his hilarious, witty words; love his vivid, unforgettable descriptions of people and places; love his improbable plot twists; love the Christian soul of his stories.

The Colton High School English Department, under the old, higher-than-common-core English standards, used to teach Dickens’ “Great Expectations” year after year to ninth graders at Colton High school –when I was a brand new teacher there in the 1990s.  I hadn’t read the novel before I taught it.   It was, unfortunately, not on the recommended reading list of the high school I’d attended in Florida.

But reading and re-reading “Great Expectations” so many times, as I taught the novel, I really fell in love with the book.  This love I gained also persuaded some students, mostly against their will at first, to love that novel, too.  It was fun.

But now, that seems to be over.

According to Pioneer Institute, the Boston-based thinktank, Charles Dickens literature is going away.  High school literature reading lists for Common Core standards allow for very few British writers.  Shakespeare’s on.  Dickens is off.  Why?  There’s no room when you have to make room for informational texts that include Presidential Executive Orders and Insulation manuals. Dickens, gone from US education?  It’s beyond ridiculous.

Jamie Gass and Charles Chieppo, of Pioneer Institute, have written an article on this very subject in this week’s Worchester Telegram & Gazette:

Gass and Chieppo write:

“While the brilliance of Dickens’ novels… will live on, they’re on the endangered list in America’s public schools….  Shakespeare is one of the very few British writers named in the nationalized English standards… [W]atching “A Christmas Carol” on television may be kids’ only exposure to the magic of Dickens’ characters.

… Dickens’ works have instructed generations of novelists and schoolchildren around the world. His characters capture the spectrum of vices and virtues found in human nature: Oliver Twist, Mr. Bumble, Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Pip, Estella, Miss Havisham, David Copperfield… many of these cleverly named characters speak the most enduring lines in the English language… Our children must read Dickens to grasp the universality of the human condition, compassion for human suffering, and the reality of human heroism… When the Ghost of Christmas Present comes to visit Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” he shows Scrooge two destitute children.

“This boy is Ignorance,” the Ghost says. “This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased…”
Could there be a clearer Dickensian omen for the price our country will pay if American public education turns its back on great literature?”
Well, I haven’t been back to Colton High school for many years.  But I have read “Great Expectations” on my own again.
I learned that there’s a new sign outside Colton High School today.  It looks like this:
I’m assuming that “Commited To High Standards” means bamboozled by Common Core, which doesn’t actually give high standards at all, but which dumps classic literature by the wayside in favor of informational texts, and which dumps cursive, and which dumps traditional math in favor of fuzzy math, and which does not allow any parent, teacher or principal to alter the national standards in any way.  (Why? Because the NGA/CCSSO copyrighted the standards and the US Dept. of Education hijacked them; Obama now claims he persuaded states to adopt them.)
When Dickens gets dropped because it’s not on the “rigorous high standards” train, the concept of what makes “high standards” has become fuzzy indeed.
Please, take your children to see “A Christmas Carol”.  Stuff a copy of a Dickens novel or an audio book into a Christmas stocking. Keep Charles Dickens alive in the hearts of American children.

Dear Principal   3 comments

I wrote a letter to the principal who heads the school that my non-homeschooled child attends.  It’s posted below.   What got me thinking enough to write it was Sue Schmidt’s letter, posted by Oak Norton on Utahns Against Common Core, today.  It is posted under my letter.
Regardless of what political views you hold, you likely agree that educators should recognize and get rid of Anti-American bias that poses as modern “fact”.  Freedom of thought and expression demand that bias be exposed, not promoted, especially in schools.
I am forwarding this email below, hoping you will double check before ordering any history or social studies texts that minimize teaching a reverence for American history and citizenship, in favor of anti-American, collectivist “global citizenship”.
I see an aggressive “progressive” move in education today, away from traditional loyalty to the Constitution and toward global citizenry and U.N. reverence.  I noticed this slant in last year’s WHS  A.P. Geography text, for example.
Two years ago, Texas kicked out the liberal bias from their textbooks.  Could Wasatch schools identify and remove bias similarly?
I have taken the time to study actual speeches (posted on YouTube) given by Michael Barber, the CEA of educational text corporation PEARSON.  We use Pearson in Wasatch, as you know.  But you may not know where they come from politically.

This British CEA, Michael Barber, also regularly “tweets” about American politics needing to veer left.  I heard things in Barber’s speeches that I don’t think parents here want to push students toward.  I assume Barber’s philosophies trickle down into Pearson’s instructional materials.
Just asking you to read extra carefully.
———- Forwarded message ———-


I received this email yesterday and (with permission from Sue to post) thought I would pose the question to parents, do you know what’s in your child’s school books?


I just thought you would be interested and I want to let as many parents as possible aware of my experience.   I have been a homeschooling mom mostly since my now 17 year olds were in 3rd grade.  We recently moved to Springville and that combined with other circumstances led me to try public school for all my 7 kids who are of school age (I have 2 younger ones still at home.)

It has a positive experience so far in many ways but I continue to dislike common core on many levels and I have really been concerned  about what is and isn’t being taught in history.   So concerned that I decided to ask my 6th grade child’s teacher if I could borrow a copy of the history books he is teaching out of.

Appalled is the ONLY word I can think of to describe what I found there!  It’s a world history book and the section on the US is maybe 4 pages long.  It has no mention of our founding fathers but teaches abundantly about Karl Marx and his “wonderful ideas”.

The section on Christianity is a joke but the section on Islam is lengthy.   It’s just ridiculous! !

Needless to say my kids will either be transferring to the local charter school that does not use common core and teaches much about our founding fathers or it’s back to homeschooling.

I think the media needs to hear about this!  Just thought you’d be interested.


Sue Schmidt


Oak Norton, a Utah parent who heads Utahns Against Common Core, recently filed a GRAMA request with the state.  In correspondence with the legal counsel for the Utah State Office of Education, he was told the request was going to be charged to him because they felt it was primarily of private interest instead of public, since state board members had not received a single complaint on the subject of the selection of the new superintendent.

Oak happened to know this was false.

A few years ago, in the course of a single month, Oak was contacted by 4 separate families who went to Alpine School District to complain about Investigations math, and the very same administrator at the district office told each one of them that they were the only parent to ever complain about the math program.

Each one left wondering if they were the only one to speak up. Unless many more people speak up about the problems and work to get neighbors informed and speak up as well, our school system will continue the downward slide into politically-controlled curriculum and indoctrination.

I am asking you to do the same: contact your local school board, principal and political representative by phone or email if these things matter to you.


Boston Herald Mourns: Common Core’s Dumbing Down Massachusetts Education   Leave a comment

I wish the media and the politicians in my dear state would fully wake up and see Common Core for the education disaster that it is.

I thought Utah was a pretty wise, pretty constitutionally-grounded state, as a whole.  And I used to assume Massachusetts –Pappa used to call it “Tax-achussetts” —was practically in Europe as far as socialism and  lousy “progressive” thinking goes. 

But now I wonder if some folks in Massachusetts are smarter than many folks in Utah –for loudly exposing the fallacy of Common Core,  which is supposed to benefit, not retard, American education. 

I’m thinking now about editorials.  I see some very smart ones coming from Massachusetts.  But do I see clear thinking, common core-questioning, stop-in-your-tracks editorials (like the Boston Herald piece I’ve reposted below) coming from Utah’s Salt Lake Tribune or Deseret News?



The Boston Herald’s editorial this week said:

“Massachusetts eighth-graders are entitled to congratulations for their outstanding performance on the 2011 version of the Trends in International Math and Science Study examination. But adults should not expect such excellence under the state’s embrace of the dumbed-down “Common Core” national curriculum standards.

A sample of Massachusetts students, competing as a separate country, placed sixth among 63 entrants in math, and second only to Singapore in science.

The Massachusetts test-takers spent six years studying math and science under the rigorous standards adopted as a result of the 1993 education reform law that required passing the MCAS test to graduate from high school. This created the kind of momentum that clearly bolstered the TIMSS results. The squishy “Common Core” standards adopted in 2010 have not had time to undo that yet.

But just look at the new math standards. Students are not expected to be able to use the common algorithms for arithmetic operations, which are barely nodded at. They are expected instead to reason or intuit their way to answers and discover “principles.” While 12-year-olds struggle with this process, better left to high school or college, they miss a lot.

The state still gives an MCAS test, but the Common Core organizers expect to produce a new test for 2014, which should be based on the 2010 curriculum standards. “I find it hard to believe that adopting lesser standards would lead us to expect that we would improve,” commented Michael Sentance, secretary of education under Gov. Bill Weld.

The state’s new secretary of education, Matthew Malone, a veteran of four years as superintendent of the Brockton school system, ought to rethink the dumbing down of what had been high standards.”

Now that’s a significant editorial on state education.

David Coleman: Dropping All Things Beautiful From American Schools   1 comment

How Did David Coleman Persuade a Nation

To Drop All Things Beautiful From Schools?

I imagine if David Coleman were to value a diamond, he would base its worth solely on the fact that it’s the hardest substance in nature.  The diamond’s beauty,  its way of bringing people joy, or its history as the symbol of eternal romance, would not matter to Coleman.  Just so long as the darn rock can drill through some stuff.  That’s how he thinks about reading and writing.

This is why he has gotten rid of all things beautiful in education:

  • No more cursive.
  • No more traditional math.
  • Very little classic literature, to make room for mostly informational text.
  • Informational texts to include insulation manuals and Executive Orders, in the English classroom.

That’s Common Core.  The perfect lockstep methodology for delivering whatever the person or people at the top consider to be appropriate for the rest of the nation.  A potential propaganda machine with no amendability by local voices.  It’s under copyright by the “sole developers,” the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

And the Common Core English standards were produced under the direction of David Coleman, who moved from being the national standards leader to being president of the College Board in one fell swoop.

Is this the man you want leading a nation’s educational standards?

Not me.  In fact, I don’t want any one man having that much power over so many.

Remember back in B.C.C.?  Before Common Core?  We used to determine standards locally, not top-down from Washington.  We were free to soar as high as Massachusetts, or to fail as badly as the worst of the worst.  It was up to us.

It seemed almost that we remembered the spirit of the Constitution, the spirit of independence and local power, once upon that pre-common core time.  The promoters of Common Core continue to claim it’s a grass-roots, state-led initiative.  But who can honestly see it that way, when nobody even knew about Common Core until the elite groups that produced it, had already sold it to governors and state school boards without a public vote or any kind of vetting by the average teacher, parent or principal?  It was an under-the-radar sneaky move that nationalized American education just like any other socialist nation’s educational system.  And we are stuck with it, until enough people tell their school boards and governors NO.

As for David Coleman, he’s not a teacher and never has been.  Somehow he still managed to acquire the job of central architect of the now mostly-national Common Core English Standards –and also, to repeat, to drill the fact into our collective conscious– he became president of the College Board and he is now aligning the Common Core standards with college entrance exams.  Yes, the SAT.

My purpose for writing today is not to figure out how he wormed his way to such positions of power without any teaching experience.  My purpose is to ponder the unlovely place he’s taking us, to shake us up and help us to see that he’s wrecking the beauty and effectiveness of real education.

The absolutely least lovely comment I’ve ever heard from any educator, ever, came from David Coleman:

As you grow up in this world you realize that people really don’t give a shit about what you feel or what you think… it is rare in a working environment that someone says, ‘Johnson I need a market analysis by Friday but before that I need a compelling account of your childhood.’ That is rare”

It’s on this very short video clip:


What kind of legitimate educator would speak so narrowly about the purposes and benefits of writing narratively?  Such a dreary-minded, utilitarian philosopher should not be honored with the leading of our nation’s K-12 –and now, also, our nation’s university– environment.

No way.

Home School Association Denounces Common Core   Leave a comment

I’m reposting this article from the Home School Legal Defense Association:

It’s important for homeschooling families to realize that Common Core is a movement that is transforming education for every one who ever wants to go to a college or university.  It’s deleting freedom and innovation for everyone, not just public school attendees.

December 17, 2012

Common Core State Standards Initiative: Too Close to a National Curriculum

William A. Estrada, Esq. Director of Federal Relations
 Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. As the oldest of eight kids, and a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate, he has a passion for protecting homeschool freedom. Read more >>


In 2010, the National Governors Association published their “Common Core State Standards” (CCSS). These were meant as voluntary math and English guidelines which individual states could adopt.

HSLDA and numerous other organizations grew concerned about this push to standardize what public school students are taught. HSLDA wrote two articles outlining our concerns, one in March of 2010, and one in June of 2010. We explained that states were being enticed by the federal government—through the Race to the Top program—to align their state curriculum with the CCSS, resulting in de facto national standards. We were concerned that this would lead to a national curriculum and national test, and that the pressure would grow for homeschool and private school students to be taught using this national curriculum.

During President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union speech, the president stated, “We’ve convinced nearly every state in the country to raise their standards.” How were the states convinced to adopt the CCSS? The simple answer—federal dollars. President Obama added adopting the CCSS as a criterion for states to gain points in the Race to the Top education federal grant program, regardless of whether the state already had comparable or superior educational standards. States with the highest points are more likely to win the competitive Race to the Top federal grants.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the CCSS since 2010. Only Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia have not.

Are the Common Core State Standards a Good Idea for Public Schools?

Recently, there has been a growing controversy over whether the CCSS are even beneficial. Many states have spent years adopting their own state standards, only to throw them away in favor of the CCSS. Some commentators have said that the CCSS will weaken English learning and reduce analytical thinking. Others point to a weakening of math teaching. Still others point out that the CCSS will cost billions of dollars to implement—which could be deal-breaker for states struggling to implement the standards.

The CCSS by themselves are not necessarily controversial. They’re similar in certain respects to other state curriculum content standards for public schools. However, HSLDA believes that children—whether homeschooled, private schooled, or public schooled—do best when parents are fully engaged. And parents are most engaged when they know that they are in charge of their child’s education. Top-down, centralized education policy does not encourage parents to be engaged. The CCSS removes education standards from the purview of state and local control to being controlled by unaccountable education policy experts sitting in a board room far removed from the parents, students, and teachers who are most critical to a child’s educational success.

Will the CCSS Affect Homeschools?

The CCSS specifically do not apply to private or homeschools, unless they receive government dollars (online charter school programs have no such protection). However, HSLDA has serious concerns with the rush to adopt the CCSS. HSLDA has fought national education standards for the past two decades. Why? National standards lead to national curriculum and national tests, and subsequent pressure on homeschool students to be taught from the same curricula.

The College Board—the entity that created the PSAT and SAT—has already indicated that its signature college entrance exam will be aligned with the CCSS. And many homeschoolers worry that colleges and universities may look askance at homeschool graduates who apply for admission if their highschool transcripts are not aligned with the CCSS.

HSLDA believes that a one-size-fits-all approach to education crowds out other educational options, including the freedom of parents to choose homeschools and private schools. A common curriculum and tests based off common standards could be very harmful to homeschoolers if their college of choice refuses to accept a student’s high school transcript if it is not based on the CCSS. Homeschoolers could also have trouble on the SAT if the test is fundamentally altered to reflect only one specific curriculum. And our greatest worry is that if the CCSS is fully adopted by all states, policy makers down the road will attempt to change state legislation to require all students—including homeschool and private school students—to be taught and tested according to the CCSS. Common Core State Standards spreading

The National Governors Association first focused the CCSS on the general subject areas of math and English. However, there is now movement to create CCSS in numerous other subject areas. The National Governors Association is also urging states to align early education programs for young children.

This is also encouraged by the federal government’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, a program which causes grave concerns to HSLDA.

Due to laws prohibiting the creation of national tests, curriculum, and teacher certification, governors and state legislatures are the only policy makers who can actually decide whether or not to adopt the CCSS. While the federal government has encouraged the states to adopt the CCSS through federal incentives, the states are completely free to reject the CCSS.

Further Action

  • To find out whether your state has adopted the Common Core State Standards, you can visit this website’s useful map. (Please note that this is the website for the common core state standards initiative.)
  • Contact your state legislators, including the governor, to discuss this issue with them. Ask them about their position on the issue. Find your governor’s current information here.
  • If you have a governor’s election coming up in your state, we encourage you to raise this issue with the candidates. Even if a state has already adopted the national education standards, a new governor will be faced with the costs of implementing these new standards and new accountability to the federal government.
  • Numerous states that have already adopted the CCSS are considering rejecting the CCSS. Now is the time to help raise awareness of this issue and educate yourself about the CCSS.
  • Because this affects all parents, and will not currently affect homeschool freedom, it is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

Other Resources

Math and Science Common Core State Standards

Eagle Forum: “Obama Core is Another Power Grab”

Indiana Superintendent: “Obama Administration Nationalized Common Core Standards Common Core Math Standards Fail to Add Up”

Eagle Forum: “Common Core Standards Aren’t Cheap”

Eagle Forum: “Common Core Standards Dumbing Down the SAT”

“Common Core Supporter: Maybe Opposition Not Paranoia”

Just Say No to Arne Duncan’s “Green” Curriculum   3 comments

                                  My fourth grader saw this poster.  He asked me what a carbon footprint was.

I told him that some scientists think carbon hurts our earth, while other scientists say that is not actually true.  Some people think that the government wants to tax people so much that they use, as an excuse, the idea of carbon footprints.  They will tax people more if they do an activity that increases carbon on earth.

I told him that I have not studied it enough yet to have an opinion of my own.  I do not know which scientists are closer to the truth, but because it’s not settled, schools should not be teaching it as if it were a fact.

And people should not be hanging posters like this where children will see and assume one side of the argument is the only true side.

This anecdote is just a forward to the reason I’m writing today.  The original reason is this link:

Thanks to the Missouri Education Watchdogs publicizing it, here:

If you click on that top link, you’ll find a powerpoint presentation entitled: “EPA Region 3 Sub-Award Update.”

So what?

EPA means Environmental Protection Agency.  And Region 3 refers to a region –not a state– that the US Dept. of Education is now recognizing (moving away from the concept of states which can be such a pesky reminder of Constitutional rights).  “Sub-Award update” means that money is being accounted for, having been awarded by the federal government to “region 3” to alter local education to align with EPA goals –rather than previously held academic priorities for schools, which were previously determined by local entities like school boards and principals.

Yes, it’s creepy. It is propaganda, pure and simple.  And the head of all public schools in our country, Arne Duncan, has promised us he’s going to push for more and more of it.

US Sec. of Education Arne Duncan announced,  “Education plays a vital role in the sustainability movement… education must be part of the solution… This week’s sustainability summit represents the first time that the Department is… educating the next generation of green citizens and preparing them to contribute to the workforce through green jobs… Educators have a central role in this…  teach students about how the climate is changing… explain the science behind climate change and how we can change our daily practices…. prepar[e] students for jobs in the green economy… the Department of Education hasn’t been doing enough in the sustainability movement. Today, I promise you that we will be a committed partner…”

You’re kidding, right, Arne?  You are saying that you will use schools to promote green propaganda despite the fact that millions of scientists, teachers, students and parents don’t believe a word of the “global warming” and “climate change” science?

Not only is he not kidding, he’s now paying the EPA to “align” with Common Core.


It’s interesting that “Green Schools” are being promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.  On the surface,  greening schools sounds a little bit boring but not bad.  Students learn wonders like “turn off the lights when you leave the room” and “eat healthy food”.

But along with that, they also learn things that are not science, not high-quality, uncontroversial, settled science.  Teachers are being told to teach sustainable propaganda and call it science. Controversial points will be taught as if they were absolutes.  It goes against the whole spirit of what education is about:  students are not told to weigh information, study empirical evidence from many sources, and judge truth from fiction, fact from opinion.

They are just told that the sustainablility movement is true.

Schools will get grants if they push the green curriculum.

And teachers better teach it.

Common Core: “Obtuse Mumbo Jumbo”   2 comments

Yesterday, Cato Institute published a great article that exposes some serious problems about Common Core “education.”

Here’s my favorite part.

Neal McClusky writes:  “I sure hope the Common Core doesn’t have lessons on ambiguity, because I don’t think the crafters grasp the concept. This explanation couldn’t be much more ambiguous, stating that English classes must focus on literature “as well as” nonfiction. Sure sounds like a 70-30 or 50-50 split could be mandated under that. This is, of course, exactly the kind of obtuse mumbo-jumbo one should expect from a document — and overall effort — that tries to simultaneously be revolutionary and innocuous. And wouldn’t it have been wonderful if this sort of thing had been hashed out before states were cajoled into adopting the standards? But then there would have been public disagreements, and all the silliness of people holding different opinions is exactly what destroyed past efforts to impose uniform standards on the country.”

Read the Full Text of Agenda 21 (Educational Systems to be Supplanted by Environmental Agenda)   32 comments

Here’s a link to the full text of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 global transformation plan:

I take particular interest in these three chapters: 25, 24, and 36, as a teacher and as a mother.

Chapter 25 – the one about children:

Chapter 24- the one about girls:

Chapter 36- the one about education:

If you are new to governmentspeak, you won’t see many red flags.  It’s not until you slow down and really think about what they are writing (and not writing) that you begin to see how twisted this Agenda 21 really is.

Two examples:

From Chapter 25: “Ensure access for all youth to all types of education…  ensure that education… incorporates the concepts of environmental awareness and sustainable development throughout the curricula…”

Did you catch that?  Throughout curricula,  that means in every single class– spelling, grammar, science, English, math, history, technology, art, languages, sports, student government, debate, home economics, and the rest– students must be learning environmental awareness and sustainable development?  Does that not strike you as dogmatic- almost crazy?

Also from Chapter 25:  ” Consider…recommendations of… youth conferences and other forums that offer youth perspectives.” 

–On first reading, that sounds fine, right?  Listening to young people. What could possibly be wrong with it?

Well, look up “Delphi Technique” when you have some time on your hands.

There are sustainability youth “conferences” happening right now that are clearly little more than the globalists’ politically motivated indoctrination camps.

After youth spend time “dialoging” about environmental issues –where the dialogue is being controlled by Agenda 21 activist facilitators– those facilitators will take the youth recommendations back to headquarters. Nice.  Here’a a link to such a youth conference.  All 14-year-olds and up are cordially invited to be totally immersed in the green, anti-sovereignty, anti-constitution, pro-collectivism, pro-communist, environmental agenda:

It should not be creeping into our schools.  But it is.

Teachers are being taught to teach sustainable development across the curricula.

The U.S. Department of Education is pushing it.

Secretary Duncan says in the above linked speech, “Educators have a central role in this… They teach students about how the climate is changing. They explain the science behind climate change and how we can change our daily practices to help save the planet. They have a role in preparing students for jobs in the green economy. Historically, the Department of Education hasn’t been doing enough in the sustainability movement. Today, I promise you that we will be a committed partner.”

And here:  Unesco promotes “Guidelines and Recommendations for Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability”

It’s obvious that teachers are being pushed in the direction of Agenda 21 without knowing it’s a political agenda.  The Agenda 21 tenets, such as the supposed importance of limiting human reproduction, of limiting building, sports or recreational activities that touch grass, oceans or trees; of limiting airplane and car use, or of believing that there is human made global warming, are not settled facts among scientific communities (or in religious ones, for that matter.)  Yet teachers are supposed to teach them as settled facts, as doctrine.

Please have the courage to say no if you are a teacher, a school board member, a principal, or a parent.

Even if you happen to believe in the tenets of Agenda 21, such as global warming, population control, or putting plants above or equal with humans’ needs, do you believe that all children should be subject to these teachings, regardless of what their parents or teachers or churches believe?

Shouldn’t a child be taught to weigh competing theories and judge empirical evidence for his/herself, rather than accepting a dogma blindly?  Isn’t that what education is supposed to mean?

Yukon College Professor Bob Jickling’s article on this subject is worth reading:  “Why I Don’t Want my Children to be Educated for Sustainable Development”

Link here:

Hilarious Washington Post Article on the Stupidity of Deleting Classic Literature   2 comments

The Washington Post has a hilarious article about the stupidity of deleting so much classic literature in high school English classes while calling Common Core education an increase in rigor.  Love it.  Reposting.


The Common Core’s 70 percent nonfiction standards and the end of reading?

By Alexandra Petri

Forget “The Great Gatsby.”

New Common Core standards (which impact 46 out of 50 states) will require that, by graduation in 2014, 70 percent of books studied be nonfiction. Some suggested texts include “FedViews” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by California’s Invasive Plant Council.

Forget “Catcher in the Rye” (seems to encourage assassins), “The Great Gatsby” (too 1 percenty), “Huckleberry Finn” (anything written before 1970 must be racist) and “To Kill A Mockingbird” (probably a Suzanne Collins rip-off). Bring out the woodchipping manuals!


I like reading. I love reading. I always have. I read recreationally still. I read on buses, in planes, while crossing streets. My entire apartment is covered in books. And now, through some strange concatenation of circumstances, I write for a living.

And it’s all because, as a child, my parents took the time to read me “Recommended Levels of Insulation.”

Oh, “Recommended Levels of Insulation.” That was always my favorite, although “Invasive Plant Inventory” was a close second. (What phrases in literature or life will ever top the rich resonance of that opening line? “The Inventory categorizes plants as High, Moderate, or Limited, reflecting the level of each species’ negative ecological impact in California. Other factors, such as economic impact or difficulty of management, are not included in this assessment.” And we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past has nothing on it!)

“It is important to note that even Limited species are invasive and should be of concern to land managers,” I frequently tell myself, in moments of crisis. “Although the impact of each plant varies regionally, its rating represents cumulative impacts statewide.” How true that is, even today. Those words have brought me through moments of joy and moments of sorrow. They are graven on my heart. I bound them as a seal on my hand.

My dog-eared, beaten copy of “Recommended Levels of Insulation” still sits on my desk. I even got it autographed. Their delay in making a movie of this classic astounds me. That was where I first learned the magic of literature.

“Insulation level are specified by R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it.” What authority in that sentence!

And then came the table of insulation values. I shudder every time that table appears. It is one of the great villains in the history of the English language. Uriah Heep and Captain Ahab have absolutely nothing on it. In fact, I do not know who these people are. I have never read about them.

“Wall Insulation: Whenever exterior siding is removed on an

Uninsulated wood-frame wall:

·           Drill holes in the sheathing and blow insulation into the empty wall cavity before installing the new siding, and

·           Zones 3–4: Add R5 insulative wall sheathing beneath the new siding

·           Zones 5–8: Add R5 to R6 insulative wall sheathing beneath the new siding”

I remember curling up with that and reading it over and over again. It was this that drove me to pursue writing as a career — the hope one day of crafting a sentence that sang the way “Drill holes in the sheathing and blow insulation into the empty wall cavity before installing the new siding and” sings.

But I doubt I will ever achieve this lambent perfection.

Look, I was an English major, so I may be biased.

People often, feelingly, write about a vague namby-pamby thing called the Magic of Literature. By the time you stagger out of one of these essays you wish that they had not been read to as children.

But I am not saying this as an advocate of the vague namby-pamby magic. I truly believe that everything you need is already there, in the greatest works of literature. If you want to fight your way through a thorny sentence, look no further than Shakespeare. If you are having trouble figuring out what equipment is necessary for the task you are about to perform, look no further than the Iliad, where Achilles has a similar problem.

Life is full enough of instruction manuals.

The best way to understand what words can do is to see them in their natural habitat, not constrained into the dull straitjackets of legalese and regulationish and manualect. It’s like saying the proper way of encountering puppies is in puppy mills. Words in regulations and manuals are words mangled and tortured and bent into unnatural positions, and the later you have to discover such cruelty, the better.

The people behind the core have sought to defend it, saying that this was not meant to supplant literature. This increased emphasis on nonfiction would not be a concern if the core worked the way it was supposed to, with teachers in other disciplines like math and science assigning the hard technical texts that went along with their subjects. But teachers worry that this will not happen. Principals seem to be having trouble comprehending the requirement themselves. Besides, the other teachers are too busy, well, teaching their subjects to inflict technical manuals on their students too, and  they may expect the English department to pick up the slack. And hence the great Purge of Literature.

These are good intentions, but it will be vital to make sure the execution is as good, or we will head down the road usually paved with good intentions. There, in the ninth circle, students who would otherwise have been tearing through Milton and Shakespeare with great excitement are forced to come home lugging manuals of Exotic Plants.

All in all, this is a great way to make the kids who like reading hate reading.

That’s certainly one way of addressing the reading gap.


Great article.  Thank you, Alexandra Petri.

Schools to Teach That “Unsustainable” includes Airplanes, Private Homes, Traditional Religion, Modern Agriculture, Ice in Your Drink.   4 comments

What is sustainable development? What is “unsustainable”?

At first glance, “sustainable development” –and the idea of teaching it in schools, museums, zoos, movies, media and planning commissions– might sound so reasonable as to make anyone opposing the sustainable obsession appear quite stupid.

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

But when you do a little digging, you see that it’s insane to follow “sustainability” as defined by the United Nations’ –and increasingly, the U.S. Dept. of Education’s, programs.

The U.N. wants to influence all students –and all humans– to focus on forced “sustainability” to the exclusion of all other things.  All Other Things.

It’s sickening.

This stack-n-pack high rise is supposedly the ideal for a globally sustainable future.  It makes the humans take up less space so the plants can grow.  This is your sustainable future if the U.N. gets its way.

No private homes.  No private property. No golf courses, no grazing flocks, no intrusions on the earth with scuba diving or snowskiing.  Rip up pavement so that as few paved roads as possible remain.  And allow few human births.

It’s not a horror movie.  It’s the actual plan of UNESCO and many, many other “globally minded” politicians and individuals.

Read, read.  It’s all referenced.  Everything I am writing here is linked to documents you can verify, all written by the United Nations, not by any critic of the U.N.


 So, “UNSUSTAINABLE” choices now include:

and, according to the UNEP Global Biodiversity Assessment Report, it’s also unsustanable to have:

  •  Ski Runs
  • Grazing of Livestock: cows, sheep, goats, horses  
  • Scuba Diving
  • Disturbance of the Soil Surface
  • Large hoofed animals
  • Fencing of Pastures or Paddocks
  • Agriculture
  • Modern Farm Production Systems
  • Building Materials
  • Industrial Activities
  • Human-Made “caves” of brick and mortar, concrete and steel
  • Paved and Tarred roads, highways, rails  
  • Railroads
  • Floor and Wall Tiles
  • Aquaculture
  • Technology Improvements
  • Farmlands, Rangelands
  • Pastures, Rangelands
  • Fish Ponds
  • Modern Hunting
  • Harvesting of Timber
  • Logging Activities
  • Fossil Fuels – Used for driving various kinds of machines
  • Dams, Reservoirs, Straightening Rivers
  • Power Line Construction
  •  Economic systems that fail to set a proper value on the environment
  •  Inappropriate Social Structures
  •  Weaknesses in Legal and Institutional Systems
  •  Modern Attitudes toward nature – Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religions
  •  Private Property   
  •  Population Growth – Human Population Density

  •  Consumerism and population figures
  •  Fragmentation of Habitat – cemeteries, derelict lands, rubbish tips, etc.
  •  Sewers, Drain Systems, Pipelines
  •  Land use that serves human needs
  •  Fisheries
  •  Golf Courses
  •  Synthetic drugs
  •  Fragmentation – Agricultural development, etc. 

For links to the above list, see page numbers here: UNEP Global Biodiversity Assessment Report. Here are scanned copies of this list and if you continue to scroll down the pdf, you will see the actual  referenced pages from the Global Biodiversity Assessment.  Thanks go to the Freedom Advocates, who compiled most of the above on their website.

PAGE REFERENCES from “The Global Biodiversity Assessment” <scanned article and relevant pages

It seems that the “sustainablists” are driven by the desire to control humanity without fully considering the wider impacts of what happens when you take away protective Constitutions, personal property and local sovereignty, for the reason that “sustainability” demands it.

The UK sustainablists write:  “the focus of sustainable development is far broader than just the environment. It’s also about ensuring a strong, healthy and just society. This means meeting the diverse needs of all people in existing and future communities, promoting personal wellbeing, social cohesion and inclusion, and creating equal opportunity.”

The ultimate way to enforce equality is to redistribute everything and enforce that redistribution with government/military force.

UNESCO: The Brainwashing Site For Teachers– Reorienting Academics to “Sustainability” Indoctrination and the End of Liberty   2 comments

Here’s the UNESCO’s brainwashing site for teachers. It’s aim is to “reorient” academics to focus on “sustainability” and to slowly eradicate personal liberty in favor of collectivism.

The goal:  UNESCO (United Nations) wants to “teach” (indoctrinate) everyone to become obsessed with “sustainability” to the point that they are willing to give up everything for sustainability– traditional academics; traditional authority of parents over their own children; parents, especially women, raising their own children; personal property, Constitutions, religions; traditional museums and media.  Nothing will be allowed to be more important than “sustainability” in anyone’s mind.

UNESCO wants to transform the thinking of every human on earth.  This is easier to do if they first indoctrinate teachers, since they can more easily “teach” their new religion of sustainability if teachers are converted first.

This link will bring you to UNESCO’s teacher training page:  Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future: a multimedia teacher education programme. 

Another interesting and scary page on the same site is :   This is where they show which political programs teachers are to focus on.  One that is particularly disturbing to me is the emphasis on girls and women.

They want to make sure every mother is in the workforce rather than being home with her child.  And they want to limit the amount of babies being born in the first place; thus, they redefine as “rights” things like reproductive norms.

Those who think the “sustainability” obsession of the United Nations (and increasingly, of the U.S. Department of Education) is just about recycling are very naiive.  Sustainability is an ultimately anti-human, cruel political agenda that aims to governmentally control every person on earth –under the deceptive banner of earth care.

 “Sustainability” has no business in legitimate academic life.

Thank You, Senator Lee   Leave a comment

Utah Senator Mike Lee is a rare patriot.

He actually did what all the senators are supposed to be doing:  he defended the U.S. Constitution from the tentacles of the United Nations– again!

He defended our freedoms:  national sovereignty and parental rights, when others lightly dismissed the seriousness of the threat to these sacred things.

The article below is reposted from Lee’s op-ed in USA Today:


Treaty backers can’t have it both ways

If the U.N. convention won’t affect U.S. laws, how can it change other nations?

by Senator Lee

December  6. 2012 – Supporters of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are attempting to have it both ways. They dismiss as a myth any concerns about protecting sovereignty or parental rights because the treaty lacks a formal enforcement mechanism. They suggest that Congress can simply ignore any United Nations demand that isn’t in our national interest.

USA Today’s view:  Disabled Senate rejects U.N. rights treaty

Yet they simultaneously argue that U.S. ratification is necessary in order to force other countries to institute reforms. This inconsistent logic begs the question: If the treaty cannot be used to force changes in American law, how can it then be used to change the laws of other countries?

Ironically, no one highlighted this inconsistency more eloquently during Tuesday’s floor debate than one of the treaty’s most ardent supporters, Sen. John Kerry: “When  have words or suggestions that have no power, that cannot be implemented, that have no access to the courts, that have no effect on the law of the United States, and cannot change the law of the United States, when has that ever threatened anybody in our country?”

Or any other country, for that matter.

Supporters argue the treaty  gives us a seat at the international table. But America already sits at the head of that table. Our laws are the gold standard for protecting the rights of disabled persons. Nothing about Tuesday’s vote changes that. We continue to be influential throughout the world in promoting the Americans with Disabilities Act as the model for other countries. Ratifying the treaty would not strengthen our hand, nor would it provide further rights or benefits for Americans at home.

At best, the treaty is ineffective. At worst, it could have grave consequences for U.S. domestic law. By their very nature, treaties diminish our sovereign authority to govern ourselves. Parties to this particular convention must answer to an unaccountable U.N. committee and are subject to its directions. If you believe Sen. Kerry, then the U.S. has nothing to worry about, but also no reason to support the treaty. If he is wrong, we have many reasons to oppose it.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.



Common Core Stirs Controversy in Kansas   Leave a comment

Julie Ford, the Topeka, Kansas School Superintendent, wants the cash associated with bowing to the will of the U.S. Dept of Education, and that means dancing solely to the tune of the Common Core drum.

But U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran declined Ford’s request that they should write to the U.S. Department of Education to bolster the district’s application for a Race to the Top grant.

Senator Roberts said he did not believe the federal government “should be mandating a one-size-fits-all education reform agenda by proposing a financial reward system in order to force states to make changes deemed worthwhile by the administration.”

Interestingly, the Associated press reporter who wrote the article had obviously not actually studied the Common Core.  The reporter wrote: “The standards are considered more rigorous than previous standards, focusing more on depth of knowledge rather than breadth.”

Cutting literature is “focusing more on depth of knowledge”?

Moving Algebra II from 8th grade to 9th is considered more rigorous?

If it was funny, I would laugh out loud.  But the oversight of the truth is dead serious.

I’m not laughing.

Superintendent Edits Child’s Poem to Delete God at Veteran’s Celebration   1 comment

“He prayed to God for peace.  He prayed to God for strength.”

This line was removed from a little girl’s poem about her grandfather’s service in Vietnam.  It was a Veteran’s Day assembly at her school. This is a basic freedom of speech issue, a no brainer.

The little child is not an employee of the United States.  A child is under no obligation to cater to athiests who may be offended at her poem’s reference to God.

The Alliance Defending Freedom pointed out that the Gettysburg address and the Pledge of Allegiance mention God; so, are they, too, no longer to be read at public school assemblies for fear of offending the athiests?


Watch the latest video at

Thank you, Senator Hatch   Leave a comment

Dear Mrs. Swasey:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). It is good to hear from you.
As you may know, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the CRPD in 2006 and President Obama transmitted it to the Senate earlier this year.  The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held only one hearing on this treaty and quickly reported it to the full Senate.  As one of the principle authors of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I support this treaty’s general goal of promoting the rights and opportunities of persons with disabilities but believe that an international treaty is the wrong means of achieving that goal.
The CRPD would authorize a United Nations committee of individuals chosen by foreign countries to evaluate whether, in its opinion, a ratifying country is complying with the treaty.  If the United States ratified it, this committee would scrutinize our political, social, cultural, and even family life.  Since a ratified treaty has the same legal status as the Constitution itself, this treaty undermines American sovereignty and self-government.
With these concerns in mind, I voted against the CRPD on December 4, 2012. The 61-38 vote was fewer than the 2/3 margin that the Constitution requires for ratification.  However, I will continue to support legitimate ways of promoting the rights and opportunities of persons with disabilities.
Once again, thank you for writing.
Your Senator,
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator

Mireja: Psych. Illness Linked to Government-Controlled Education and Interrupted Family Attachment   Leave a comment

Reblogged from Mireja Institute:

In Sweden, many families lack the power to make their own decisions about their close relationships, especially when children arrive.

Symptoms are visible in the national statistics: High levels of stress-related sick leave, ambitious but insecure parents, increasing psychological ill heath among youth, plummeting learning results and more disorder in schools.

The governmental impediments are often well-intentioned: The everyone-to-work policy, gender equality, high subsidised day care, pre- and after-school care and school. But rather than create more welfare, these are in effect often hindrances to the close relationships which are so important to human health, learning and development.

The Mireja Institute seeks to educate people on this important subject.

Mireja Institute is politically and religiously unaffiliated and is neither based on any specific ideology, apart from democracy and human rights. The purpose of The Mireja Institute is to present the knowledge available today about health, learning and personal growth through attachment and relationships, to the political level.

This knowledge is lacking today in the political debate in many countries, Sweden being no exception. When this knowledge is publicly known family policies in most political camps will look different, even though the solutions may vary.

The goal is to make available the knowledge about the potential in close relationships to build welfare, development and democracy.

Jonas Himmelstrand

Founder of The Mireja Institute

Mireja founder Jonas Himmelstrand has been a consultant in business for nearly 30 years focusing on leadership, education and personal development.

Meeting a great number of Swedes in business life during many years raised some concerns about how well the Swedish people were actually doing in the world’s best well-fare system. Jonas spent five years working on a book to explain the phenomena. The problems seemed to boil down to a social system not acknowledging the key importance of family and close relationships to health, personal growth and self-fulfilment.  He currently lives in exile outside of Sweden, due to Sweden’s anti-homeschooling laws.

With The Mireja Institute Jonas spreads knowledge on the subjects of family attachment and educational liberty.  Mireja sends out a free newsletter with research videos and links.

Mireja Newsletter:

This is a newsletter from the think tank Mireja.

The mailing list is expanded and professionalized. You can sign up for the list on the web, and anytime unsubscribe – all with IT automation – see links below. You are receiving this mailing for the first time can learn more about me and think tank Mireja on .
It has been thin with “clips” in the last year. The forced relocation to Åland in Swedish education policy reasons, plus the global homeschooling conference in Berlin took all my time this year. Now with safer living conditions in exile and some good news there are many reasons to revive this mailing list.
Knowledge Channel to broadcast a full study day with Dr. Gordon Neufeld on TV!

The world’s foremost experts on children and young people’s development is the Canadian psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld.

His book “Dare to Take Place in Your Child’s Life” has been translated into 14 languages ​​and is based on a synthesis of classical developmental psychology, attachment theory and contemporary neuroscience. Dr. Neufeld has been to Sweden several times and given study days for school staff and lectures for parents. One key message is that parents and families are far more important for children’s development than we now recognize in the West and especially in Sweden.

Dr. Neufeld’s study day in Sweden in November, “Why doesn’t Charlie listen to his teacher?” Filmed by Knowledge Channel and will be broadcast in its entirety – just over five hours – as follows:

Monday, December 17, at. 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., parts 1 and 2. Tuesday, December 18, at. 4:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Part 3 and 4. Then, all components of the replay: Friday, December 21, at. 12:00 to 17:15, Part 1-4

After the program was broadcast on television for the first time, they will be available online at and . To find them, search for “Gordon Neufeld” or the name of the series, “Why doesn’t Charlie listen to his teacher?”  (“Varför lyssnar inte Kalle på sin lärare?”)

Do not miss this opportunity to listen to the entire field day with Dr. Gordon Neufeld absolutely free!

Think tank Mireja’s Swedish website is now fully updated with all the year’s events, including exile, and also with ten links from the historic homeschooling conference in Berlin a few weeks ago.

Welcome back to this mailing list!

Jonas Himmelstrand

Think tank Mireja , Box 1454, SE-114 79 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46 8-20 01 14 *


Jack Monnett on LDS Home School   Leave a comment

Interesting video from Jack Monnett.

New York City Public School Parents: Stop Common Core   1 comment

The independent voices of New York City public school parents have published an article about the ridiculous quota –under Common Core’s mandated chopping of that which is valuable–  which calls for using 50% less classic literature for elementary schools and 70% less classic literature for high school students.

They make the point that David Coleman has never taught a day in his life, yet he’s the man who dictated this quota.

They make the point that Common Core is being widely promoted as the miracle that will cure all that ails education, everywhere.

Great article.



What Does Teacher Improvement Really Mean?   Leave a comment

Remember Inigo Montoya’s quote in The Princess Bride?  “You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”

The way that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and the writers of the education chapters of the United Nations’ Agenda 21, use words, remind me of that quote –continually.

They keep using these words.  I do not think they mean what we think they mean.

Examples of words that mean the exact opposite of how they sound:

  • “social justice” – it really means stealing, the “redistribution of weath”
  • “college and career readiness” – it really means Common Core, having the exact same standards as virtually everyone else on earth (See definitions:
  • “accountability” – it really means top-down control, not mutual accountability
  • “world class education” – it really means having the same –which is mediocre at best– the same education as every other country in the world
  • “globally competent” – it really means acting out the “sustainable development” agenda which seeks to erase individual sovereignty.
  • “teacher improvement” – it really means getting rid of the teachers –and teachings– that do not agree with the fanatical “sustainable development” agenda, as agreed upon by the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Education.

Alisa Ellis made this last point, about “teacher improvement” in her talk.  –Among many, many other important things.

Alisa Ellis: On the Global Education Agenda   1 comment

At a recent conference of “Agency Based Education,” Alisa Ellis spoke about the goals of the U.S. Department of Education as they align with the United Nations’ “Universal Education” goals.  This informative video explains how the nice-sounding plans of the United Nations actually harm us.  They take away parental rights over children and take away teachers’ and school boards’ rights about what will be taught in local schools.


Agenda 21 Reduces All Education to “Underpinning” Environmental and Collectivist Curriculums   2 comments

The following (shortened) statements from Chapter 36 of the U.N.’s Agenda 21 shows the openness with which the globalists intend to indoctrinate all of us.  They’ll use schools, museums, theatres, media, anything.

Basic education is redefined by the Agenda 21, reduced to only an “underpinning” to their obsession with promoting all things “sustainable”.

In the words of the United Nations itself–  “Basic education is the underpinning for environment and development education…”  That’s the motive for all this global education pushed by UNESCO, Bill Gates, Sir Michael Barber of Pearson, and the U.S. Dept. of Education.  The goal has never been to endow the illiterate with literacy and numeracy because they need it; the goal is using basic education as a necessary steppingstone to promoting the sustainable development agenda –which includes taking away nations’ rights and individuals’ rights over their own property, their own children, and their own bodies.

It’s really, really bad.

Agenda 21 For Change (shortened here)

Complete text of Agenda 21: Chapter 36 here


Chapter 36: Education, Training and Public Awareness

“… Education can give people the environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour needed for sustainable development.”

“Basic education is the underpinning for environment and development education…”

“To improve sustainable development education, nations should seek to:

  • Make environment and development education available to people of all ages.
  • Work environment and development concepts, including those of population, into all educational programmes… There should be a special emphasis on training decision makers.
  • Involve schoolchildren in local and regional studies on environmental health…”

“The world needs a flexible and adaptable work force… Countries should:

  • Set up training programmes for school and university graduates to help them achieve sustainable livelihoods.
  • Encourage all sectors of society, including industry, universities, governments, non-governmental organizations and community organizations, to train people in environmental management.
  • Provide locally trained and recruited environmental technicians..
  • Work with the media, theatre groups, entertainment and advertising industries, to promote a more active public debate on the environment.”

Next Chapter [ Next Chapter ]

Anyone who still believes that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is on the same team as students, parents, teachers, and the American way, please do your homework.  Read his speeches. 

He is all for “global citizenship,” international “sustainability” and top-down control of what’s taught and who teaches it.  He is obviously an Agenda 21 follower.  He even overuses the exact same phrases that the United Nations overuses in reference to education.  Consistently.

When State Boards of Education wake up to what is going on in U.S. education today, they will run as fast as they can in the opposite direction from anything Arne Duncan is praising and promoting:

–These include:

  • Common Core (most often called “college and career readiness,”)
  • The P-20 citizen tracking system  (often called “accountability”)
  • Educational Equity and/or Social Justice  (those are their words; it’s plainer to call them communism)
  • The States’ Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS)  –spying-on-citizens network
  • The term “World Class Education”

United Nations Document 19 Sep 1997 Resolution Adopted: Agenda Item 8 in 19th Special Session   1 comment



United Nations

Note from blog author: Why am I posting this long, boring document from the United Nations? Because the word “education” appears 33 times in it.  Because “sustainable” appears over 100 times and “sustainable development” 74 times.  Because the globalists are using Common Core as a vehicle to control American minds.  And because you can no longer access Agenda 21’s text online, so we’re posting whatever we had in PDFs for the public to see. A/RES/S-19/2

General Assembly


19 September 1997


Nineteenth special session
Agenda item 8


              [without reference to a Main Committee (A/S-19/29)]

            S/19-2.  Programme for the Further Implementation
                     of Agenda 21

      The General Assembly

      Adopts the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21
annexed to the present resolution.

                                                          11th plenary meeting
                                                                  28 June 1997


             Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21

       Adopted by the General Assembly at its nineteenth special session
                               (23-28 June 1997)



 I.   STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT ..............................         1 - 6

      CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT ............         7 - 21

      ACTION ...............................................        22 - 115

      A. Integration of economic, social and environmental
         objectives .......................................         23 - 32  

      B. Sectors and issues ...............................         33 - 75  

      C. Means of implementation ..........................         76 - 115 


      A. Greater coherence in various intergovernmental
         organizations and processes ......................        117 - 121   

      B. Role of relevant organizations and institutions
         of the United Nations system .....................        122 - 129   

      C. Future role and programme of work of the
         Commission on Sustainable Development ............        130 - 132   

      D. Methods of work of the Commission on Sustainable
         Development ......................................        133 - 137   

Appendix.  Multi-year programme of work for the Commission
           on Sustainable Development, 1998-2002            

                          I.  STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT

1. At the nineteenth special session of the United Nations General
Assembly, we - heads of State or Government and other heads of
delegations, together with our partners from international
institutions and non-governmental organizations - have gathered to
review progress achieved over the five years that have passed since
the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and to
re-energize our commitment to further action on goals and objectives
set out by the Earth Summit.

2. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was a
landmark event.  At that Conference, we launched a new global
partnership for sustainable development - a partnership that respects
the indivisibility of environmental protection and the development
process.  It is founded on a global consensus and political commitment
at the highest level.  Agenda 21, 1/ adopted at Rio de Janeiro,
addresses the pressing environment and development problems of today
and also aims at preparing the world for the challenges of the next
century in order to attain the long-term goals of sustainable

3. Our focus at this special session has been to accelerate the
implementation of Agenda 21 in a comprehensive manner and not to
renegotiate its provisions or to be selective in its implementation. 
We reaffirm that Agenda 21 remains the fundamental programme of action
for achieving sustainable development.  We reaffirm all the principles
contained in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development 2/
and the Forest Principles. 3/ We are convinced that the achievement
of sustainable development requires the integration of its economic,
environmental and social components.  We recommit to working together
- in the spirit of global partnership - to reinforce our joint efforts
to meet equitably the needs of present and future generations.

4. We acknowledge that a number of positive results have been
achieved, but we are deeply concerned that the overall trends with
respect to sustainable development are worse today than they were in
1992.  We emphasize that the implementation of Agenda 21 in a
comprehensive manner remains vitally important and is more urgent now
than ever.

5. Time is of the essence in meeting the challenges of sustainable
development as set out in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21.  To this
end, we recommit ourselves to the global partnership established at
the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and to
the continuous dialogue and action inspired by the need to achieve a
more efficient and equitable world economy, as a means to provide a
supportive international climate for achieving environment and
development goals.  We therefore, pledge to continue to work together,
in good faith and in the spirit of partnership, to accelerate the
implementation of Agenda 21.  We invite everyone throughout the world
to join us in our common cause.

6. We commit ourselves to ensuring that the next comprehensive review
of Agenda 21 in the year 2002 demonstrates greater measurable progress
in achieving sustainable development.  The present Programme for the
Further Implementation of Agenda 21 is our vehicle for achieving that
goal.  We commit ourselves to fully implementing this Programme.


7. The five years that have elapsed since the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development have been characterized by
the accelerated globalization of interactions among countries in the
areas of world trade, foreign direct investment and capital markets. 
Globalization presents new opportunities and challenges.  It is
important that national and international environmental and social
policies be implemented and strengthened in order to ensure that
globalization trends have a positive impact on sustainable
development, especially in developing countries.  The impact of recent
trends in globalization on developing countries has been uneven.  A
limited number of developing countries have been able to take
advantage of those trends, attracting large inflows of external
private capital and experiencing significant export-led growth and
acceleration of growth in per capita gross domestic product.  Many
other countries, however, in particular African countries and the
least developed countries, have shown slow or negative growth and
continue to be marginalized.  As a result, they generally experienced
stagnating or falling per capita gross domestic product through 1995. 
In these and in some other developing countries, the problems of
poverty, low levels of social development, inadequate infrastructure
and lack of capital have prevented them from benefiting from
globalization.  While continuing their efforts to achieve sustainable
development and to attract new investments, these countries still
require international assistance in their efforts directed towards
sustainable development.  In particular the least developed countries
continue to be heavily dependent on a declining volume of official
development assistance for the capacity-building and infrastructure
development required to provide for basic needs and more effective
participation in the globalizing world economy.  In an increasingly
interdependent world economy, the responsible conduct of monetary and
other macroeconomic policies requires that their potential impact on
other countries be taken into account.  Since the Conference, the
countries with economies in transition have achieved significant
progress in implementing the principles of sustainable development. 
However, the need for full integration of these countries into the
world economy remains one of the crucial problems on their way towards
sustainable development.  The international community should continue
to support these countries in their efforts to accelerate the
transition to a market economy and to achieve sustainable development.

8. Although economic growth - reinforced by globalization - has
allowed some countries to reduce the proportion of people in poverty,
for others marginalization has increased.  Too many countries have
seen economic conditions worsen and public services deteriorate; the
total number of people in the world living in poverty has increased. 
Income inequality has increased among countries and also within them,
unemployment has worsened in many countries, and the gap between the
least developed countries and other countries has grown rapidly in
recent years.  On a more positive note, population growth rates have
been declining globally, largely as a result of expanded basic
education and health care.  That trend is projected to lead to a
stable world population in the middle of the twenty-first century. 
There has also been progress in social services, with expanding access
to education, declining infant mortality and increasing life
expectancy in most countries.  However, many people, particularly in
the least developed countries, still do not have access to adequate
food and basic social services or to clean water and sanitation. 
Reducing current inequities in the distribution of wealth and access
to resources, both within and among countries, is one of the most
serious challenges facing humankind.

9. Five years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, the state of the global environment has continued to
deteriorate, as noted in the Global Environment Outlook 6/ of the
United Nations Environment Programme, and significant environmental
problems remain deeply embedded in the socio-economic fabric of
countries in all regions.  Some progress has been made in terms of
institutional development, international consensus-building, public
participation and private sector actions and, as a result, a number of
countries have succeeded in curbing pollution and slowing the rate of
resource degradation.  Overall, however, trends are worsening.  Many
polluting emissions, notably of toxic substances, greenhouse gases and
waste volumes are continuing to increase although in some
industrialized countries emissions are decreasing.  Marginal progress
has been made in addressing unsustainable production and consumption
patterns.  Insufficient progress has also been identified in the field
of environmentally sound management and adequate control of
transboundary movements of hazardous and radioactive wastes.  Many
countries undergoing rapid economic growth and urbanization are also
experiencing increasing levels of air and water pollution, with
accumulating impacts on human health.  Acid rain and transboundary air
pollution, once considered a problem only in the industrialized
countries, are increasingly becoming a problem in many developing
regions.  In many poorer regions of the world, persistent poverty is
contributing to accelerated degradation of natural resources and
desertification has spread.  In countries seriously affected by
drought and/or desertification, especially those in Africa, their
agricultural productivity, among other things, is uncertain and
continues to decline, thereby hampering their efforts to achieve
sustainable development.  Inadequate and unsafe water supplies are
affecting an increasing number of people worldwide, aggravating
problems of ill health and food insecurity among the poor.  Conditions
in natural habitats and fragile ecosystems, including mountain
ecosystems, are still deteriorating in all regions of the world,
resulting in diminishing biological diversity.  At the global level,
renewable resources, in particular fresh water, forests, topsoil and
marine fish stocks, continue to be used at rates beyond their viable
rates of regeneration; without improved management, this situation is
clearly unsustainable.

10.   While there has been progress in material and energy efficiency,
particularly with reference to non-renewable resources, overall trends
remain unsustainable.  As a result, increasing levels of pollution
threaten to exceed the capacity of the global environment to absorb
them, increasing the potential obstacles to economic and social
development in developing countries.

11.   Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, extensive efforts have been made by Governments and
international organizations to integrate environmental, economic and
social objectives into decision-making by elaborating new policies and
strategies for sustainable development or by adapting existing
policies and plans.  As many as one  hundred and fifty countries have
responded to the commitments established at the Conference  through
national-level commissions or coordinating mechanisms designed to
develop an integrated approach to sustainable development.

12.   The major groups have demonstrated what can be achieved by taking
committed action, sharing resources and building consensus, reflecting
grass-roots concern and involvement.  The efforts of local authorities
are making Agenda 21 and the pursuit of sustainable development a
reality at the local level through the implementation of "local Agenda
21s" and other sustainable development programmes.  Non-governmental
organizations, educational institutions, the scientific community and
the media have increased public awareness and discussion of the
relations between environment and development in all countries.  The
involvement, role and responsibilities of business and industry,
including transnational corporations, are important.  Hundreds of
small and large businesses have made "green business" a new operating
mode.  Workers and trade unions have established partnerships with
employers and communities to encourage sustainable development in the
workplace.  Farmer-led initiatives have resulted in improved
agricultural practices contributing to sound resource management. 
Indigenous people have played an increasing role in addressing issues
affecting their interests and particularly concerning their
traditional knowledge and practices.  Young people and women around
the world have played a prominent role in galvanizing communities into
recognizing their responsibilities to future generations. 
Nevertheless, more opportunities should be created for women to
participate effectively in economic, social and political development
as equal partners in all sectors of the economy.

13.   Among the achievements since the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development have been the entry into force of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 7/ the
Convention on Biological Diversity 8/ and the United Nations
Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing
Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa; 9/
the conclusion of the Agreement on the Implementation of the
Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of
10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of
Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks; 10/ the
adoption of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of
Small Island Developing States; 11/  the elaboration of the Global
Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from
Land-based Activities; 12/ and the entry into force of the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 13/ Implementation of
these important commitments and of others adopted before the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development by all the parties
to them, remains however, to be carried out, and in many cases further
strengthening of their provisions is required as well as the
mechanisms for putting them into effect.  The establishment,
restructuring, funding and replenishment of the Global Environment
Facility were a major achievement.  However, its levels of funding and
replenishment have not been sufficient fully to meet its objectives.

14.   Progress has been made in incorporating the principles contained
in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development - including the
principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which
embodies the important concept of and basis for international
partnership; the precautionary principle; the polluter pays principle;
and the environmental impact assessment principle - in a variety of
international and national legal instruments.  While some progress has
been made in implementing United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development commitments through a variety of international legal
instruments, much remains to be done to embody the Rio principles more
firmly in law and practice.

15.   A number of major United Nations conferences have advanced
international commitment for the achievement of long-term goals and
objectives directed towards sustainable development.

16.   Organizations and programmes of the United Nations system have
played an important role in the progress made in the implementation of
Agenda 21.  The Commission on Sustainable Development was established
to review progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21,
advance global dialogue and foster partnerships for sustainable
development.  The Commission has catalysed new action and commitments
and has contributed to the deliberations on  sustainable development
among a wide variety of partners within and outside the United Nations
system.  Although much remains to be done, progress has also been made
at the national, regional and international levels in implementing the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development Forest
Principles, including through the Commission's Ad Hoc
Intergovernmental Panel on Forests.

17.   Provision of adequate and predictable financial resources and the
transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries
are critical elements for the implementation of Agenda 21.  However,
while some progress has been made, much remains to be done to activate
the means of implementation set out in Agenda 21, in particular in the
areas of finance and technology transfer, technical assistance and

18.   Most developed countries have still not reached the United
Nations target, reaffirmed by most countries at the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development, of committing 0.7 per cent
of their gross national product to official development assistance or
the United Nations target, as agreed, of committing 0.15 per cent of
gross national product as official development assistance to the least
developed countries.  Regrettably, on average, official development
assistance as a percentage of the gross national product of developed
countries has drastically declined in the post-Conference period, from
0.34 per cent in 1992 to 0.27 per cent in 1995, but official
development assistance has taken more account of the need for an
integrated approach to sustainable development.

19.   In other areas, results have been encouraging since the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development.  There has been a
sizeable expansion of private flows of financial resources from
developed to a limited number of developing countries and, in a number
of countries, efforts have been made in support of domestic resource
mobilization, including the increasing use of economic instruments to
promote sustainable development.

20.   In many developing countries, the debt situation remains a major
constraint on achieving sustainable development.  Although the debt
situation of some middle-income countries has improved, there is a
need to continue to address the debt problems of the heavily indebted
poor countries, which continue to face unsustainable external debt
burdens.  The recent World Bank/International Monetary Fund Heavily
Indebted Poor Countries Initiative could help to address that issue
with the cooperation of all creditor countries.  Further efforts by
the international community are still required to remove debt as an
impediment to sustainable development.

21.   Similarly, technology transfer and technology-related investment
from public and private sources, which are particularly important to
developing countries, have not been realized as outlined in Agenda 21. 
Although increased private flows have led to investments in industry
and technology in some developing countries and economies in
transition, many other countries have been left behind.  Conditions in
some of these countries have been less attractive to private sector
investment and technological change has been slower, thus limiting
their ability to meet their commitments to Agenda 21 and other
international agreements.  The technology gap between developed
countries and, in particular, the least developed countries has


22.   Agenda 21 and the principles contained in the Rio Declaration on
Environment and Development established a comprehensive approach to
the achievement of sustainable development.  While it is the primary
responsibility of national Governments to achieve the economic, social
and environmental objectives of Agenda 21, it is essential that
international cooperation be reactivated and intensified, recognizing,
inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities as set forth in Principle 7 of the Rio Declaration. 
This requires the mobilization of stronger political will and the
invigoration of a genuine new global partnership, taking into account
the special needs and priorities of developing countries.  Such an
approach remains as relevant and as urgently needed as ever.  It is
clear from the assessment above that, although progress has been made
in some areas, a major new effort will be required to achieve the
goals established at the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, particularly in areas of cross-sectoral matters where
implementation has yet to be achieved.  The proposals set out in
sections A to C below outline strategies for accelerating progress
towards sustainable development.  The sections are equally important
and must be considered and implemented in a balanced and integrated

       A.  Integration of economic, social and environmental objectives

23.   Economic development, social development and environmental
protection are interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of
sustainable development.  Sustained economic growth is essential to
the economic and social development of all countries, in particular
developing countries.  Through such growth, which should be broadly
based so as to benefit all people, countries will be able to improve
the standards of living of their people through the eradication of
poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy and the provision of adequate
shelter and secure employment for all, and the preservation of the
integrity of the environment.  Growth can foster development only if
its benefits are fully shared.  It must therefore also be guided by
equity, justice and social and environmental considerations. 
Development, in turn, must involve measures that improve the human
condition and the quality of life itself.  Democracy, respect for all
human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to
development, transparent and accountable governance in all sectors of
society, as well as effective participation by civil society, are also
an essential part of the necessary foundations for the realization of
social and people-centred sustainable development.

24.   Sustainable development strategies are important mechanisms for
enhancing and linking national capacity so as to bring together
priorities in social, economic and environmental policies.  Hence,
special attention must be given to the fulfilment of commitments in
the areas set out below, in the framework of an integrated approach
towards development, consisting of mutually reinforcing measures to
sustain economic growth, as well as to promote social development and
environmental protection.  Achieving sustainable development cannot be
carried out without greater integration at all policy-making levels
and at operational levels, including the lowest administrative levels
possible. Economic sectors, such as industry, agriculture, energy,
transport and tourism, must take responsibility for the impact of
their activities on human well-being and the physical environment.  In
the context of good governance, properly constructed strategies can
enhance prospects for economic growth and employment and at the same
time protect the environment.  All sectors of society should be
involved in their development and implementation, as follows:

   (a)   By the year 2002, the formulation and elaboration of national
strategies for sustainable development that reflect the contributions
and responsibilities of all interested parties should be completed in
all countries, with assistance provided, as appropriate, through
international cooperation, taking into account the special needs of
the least developed countries.  The efforts of developing countries in
effectively implementing national strategies should be supported. 
Countries that already have national strategies should continue their
efforts to enhance and effectively implement them.  Assessment of
progress achieved and exchange of experience among Governments should
be promoted.  Local Agenda 21s and other local sustainable development
programmes, including youth activities, should also be actively

   (b)   In integrating economic, social and environmental objectives,
it is important that a broad package of policy instruments, including
regulation, economic instruments, internalization of environmental
costs in market prices, environmental and social impact analysis, and
information dissemination, be worked out in the light of
country-specific conditions to ensure that integrated approaches are
effective and cost-efficient.  To this end, a transparent and
participatory process should be promoted.  This will require the
involvement of national legislative assemblies, as well as all actors
of civil society, including youth and indigenous people and their
communities, to complement the efforts of Governments for sustainable
development.  In particular, the empowerment and the full and equal
participation of women in all spheres of society, including
participation in the decision-making process, are central to all
efforts to achieve such development;

   (c)   The implementation of policies aiming at sustainable
development, including those contained in chapter 3 (Combating
poverty) and in chapter 29 (Strengthening the role of workers and
their trade unions) of Agenda 21, may enhance the opportunities for
job creation, thus helping to achieve the fundamental goal of
eradicating poverty.

An enabling international economic climate

25.   A mutually supportive balance between the international and the
national environment is needed in the pursuit of sustainable
development.  As a result of globalization, external factors have
become critical in determining the success or failure of developing
countries in their national efforts.  The gap between developed and
developing countries points to the continued need for a dynamic and
enabling international economic environment supportive of
international cooperation, particularly in the fields of finance,
technology transfer, debt and trade, if the momentum for global
progress towards sustainable development is to be maintained and

26.   To foster a dynamic and enabling international economic
environment favourable to all countries is in the interest of all
countries.  Moreover, issues, including environmental issues, that
bear on the international economic environment can be approached
effectively only through a constructive dialogue and genuine
partnership on the basis of mutuality of interests and benefits,
taking into account that, in view of the different contributions to
global environmental degradation, States have common but
differentiated responsibilities.

Eradicating poverty

27.   Given the severity of poverty, particularly in developing
countries, the eradication of poverty is one of the fundamental goals
of the international community and the entire United Nations system,
as reflected in Commitment 2 of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social
Development, 14/ and is essential for sustainable development. 
Poverty eradication is thus an overriding theme of sustainable
development for the coming years.  The enormity and complexity of the
poverty issue could very well endanger the social fabric, undermine
economic development and the environment, and threaten political
stability in many countries.  To achieve poverty eradication, efforts
of individual Governments and international cooperation and assistance
should be brought together in a complementary way.  Eradication of
poverty depends on the full integration of people living in poverty
into economic, social and political life.  The empowerment of women is
a critical factor for the eradication of poverty.  Policies that
promote such integration to combat poverty, in particular policies for
providing basic social services and broader socio-economic
development, are effective as well since enhancing the productive
capacity of poor people increases both their well-being and that of
their communities and societies, and facilitates their participation
in resource conservation and environmental protection.  The provision
of basic social services and food security in an equitable way is a
necessary condition for such integration and empowerment.  The 20/20
initiative as referred to in the Programme of Action of the World
Summit for Social Development 15/ is, among other things, a useful
means for such integration.  However, the five years since the Rio
Conference have witnessed an increase in the number of people living
in absolute poverty, particularly in developing countries.  In this
context, there is an urgent need for the timely and full
implementation of all the relevant commitments, agreements and targets
already agreed upon since the Rio Conference by the international
community, including the United Nations system and international
financial institutions.  Full implementation of the Programme of
Action of the World Summit for Social Development is essential. 
Priority actions include:

   (a)   Improving access to sustainable livelihoods, entrepreneurial
opportunities and productive resources, including land, water, credit,
technical and administrative training, and appropriate technology,
with particular efforts to broaden the human and social capital basis
of societies so as to reach the rural poor and the urban informal

   (b)   Providing universal access to basic social services,
including basic education, health care, nutrition, clean water and

   (c)   Progressively developing, in accordance with the financial
and administrative capacities of each society, social protection
systems to support those who cannot support themselves, either
temporarily or permanently; the aim of social integration is to create
a "society for all";

   (d)   Empowering people living in poverty and their organizations
by involving them fully in the formulation, implementation and
evaluation of strategies and programmes for poverty eradication and
community development and by ensuring that these programmes reflect
their priorities;

   (e)   Addressing the disproportionate impact of poverty on women,
in particular by removing legislative, policy, administrative and
customary barriers to women's equal access to productive resources and
services, including access to and control over land and other forms of
property, credit, including micro-credit, inheritance, education,
information, health care and technology.  In this regard, full
implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action 16/is essential;

   (f)   Working together of interested donors and recipients to
allocate increased shares of official development assistance to
poverty eradication.  The 20/20 initiative is an important principle
in this respect, as it is based on a mutual commitment among donors
and recipients to increasing resources allocated to basic social

   (g)   Intensifying international cooperation to support measures
being taken in developing countries to eradicate poverty, to provide
basic social protection and services, and to approach poverty
eradication efforts in an integral and multidimensional manner.

Changing consumption and production patterns

28.   Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption,
particularly in the industrialized countries, are identified in Agenda
21 as the major cause of continued deterioration of the global
environment.  While unsustainable patterns in the industrialized
countries continue to aggravate the threats to the environment, there
remain huge difficulties for developing countries in meeting basic
needs such as food, health care, shelter and education for people. 
All countries should strive to promote sustainable consumption
patterns; developed countries should take the lead in achieving
sustainable consumption patterns; developing countries should seek to
achieve sustainable consumption patterns in their development process,
guaranteeing the provision of basic needs for the poor, while avoiding
those unsustainable patterns, particularly in industrialized
countries, generally recognized as unduly hazardous to the
environment, inefficient and wasteful, in their development processes. 
This requires enhanced technological and other assistance from
industrialized countries.  In the follow-up of the implementation of
Agenda 21, the review of progress made in achieving sustainable
consumption patterns should be given high priority. 17/ Consistent
with Agenda 21, the development and further elaboration of national
policies and strategies, particularly in industrialized countries, are
needed to encourage changes in unsustainable consumption and
production patterns, while strengthening, as appropriate,
international approaches and policies that promote sustainable
consumption patterns on the basis of the principle of common but
differentiated responsibilities, applying the polluter pays principle,
and encouraging producer responsibility and greater consumer
awareness.  Eco-efficiency, cost internalization and product policies
are also important tools for making consumption and production
patterns more sustainable.  Actions in this area should focus on:

   (a)   Promoting measures to internalize environmental costs and
benefits in the price of goods and services, while seeking to avoid
potential negative effects for market access by developing countries,
particularly with a view to encouraging the use of environmentally
preferable products and commodities.  Governments should consider
shifting the burden of taxation onto unsustainable patterns of
production and consumption; it is of vital importance to achieve such
an internalization of environmental costs.  Such tax reforms should
include a socially responsible process of reduction and elimination of
subsidies to environmentally harmful activities;

   (b)   Promoting the role of business in shaping more sustainable
patterns of consumption by encouraging, as appropriate, the voluntary
publication of environmental and social assessments of its own
activities, taking into account specific country conditions, and
actions as an agent of change in the market, and actions in its role
as a major consumer of goods and services;

   (c)   Developing core indicators to monitor critical trends in
consumption and production patterns, with industrialized countries
taking the lead;

   (d)   Identifying best practices through evaluations of policy
measures with respect to their environmental effectiveness, efficiency
and implications for social equity, and disseminating such

   (e)   Taking into account the linkages between urbanization and the
environmental and developmental effects of consumption and production
patterns in cities, thus promoting more sustainable patterns of

   (f)   Promoting international and national programmes for energy
and material efficiency with timetables for their implementation, as
appropriate.  In this regard, attention should be given to studies
that propose to improve the efficiency of resource use, including
consideration of a 10-fold improvement in resource productivity in
industrialized countries in the long term and a possible factor-four
increase in industrialized countries in the next two or three decades. 
Further research is required to study the feasibility of these goals
and the practical measures needed for their implementation. 
Industrialized countries will have a special responsibility and must
take the lead in this respect.  The Commission on Sustainable
Development should consider this initiative in the coming years in
exploring policies and measures necessary to implement eco-efficiency
and, for this purpose, encourage the relevant bodies to adopt measures
aimed at assisting developing countries in improving energy and
material efficiency through the promotion of their endogenous
capacity-building and economic development with enhanced and effective
international support;

   (g)   Encouraging Governments to take the lead in changing
consumption patterns by improving their own environmental performance
with action-oriented policies and goals on procurement, the management
of public facilities and the further integration of environmental
concerns into national policy-making.  Governments in developed
countries, in particular, should take the lead in this regard;

   (h)   Encouraging the media, advertising and marketing sectors to
help shape sustainable consumption patterns;

   (i)   Improving the quality of information regarding the
environmental impact of products and services and, to that end,
encouraging the voluntary and transparent use of eco-labelling;

   (j)  Promoting measures favouring eco-efficiency; however,
developed countries should pay special attention to the needs of
developing countries, in particular by encouraging positive impacts,
and to the need to avoid negative impacts on export opportunities and
on market access for developing countries and, as appropriate, for
countries with economies in transition;

   (k)   Encouraging the development and strengthening of educational
programmes to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns;

   (l)   Encouraging business and industry to develop and apply
environmentally sound technology that should aim not only at
increasing competitiveness but also at reducing negative environmental

   (m)   Giving balanced consideration to both the demand side and the
supply side of the economy in matching environmental concerns and
economic factors, which could encourage changes in the behaviour of
consumers and producers.  A number of policy options should be
examined; they include regulatory instruments, economic and social
incentives and disincentives, facilities and infrastructure,
information, education, and technology development and dissemination.

Making trade and environment mutually supportive

29.   In order to accelerate economic growth, poverty eradication and
environmental protection, particularly in developing countries, there
is a need to establish macroeconomic conditions in both developed and
developing countries that favour the development of instruments and
structures enabling all countries, in particular developing countries,
to benefit from globalization.  International cooperation and support
for capacity-building in trade, environment and development should be
strengthened through renewed system-wide efforts, and with greater
responsiveness to sustainable development objectives, by the United
Nations, the World Trade Organization and the Bretton Woods
institutions, as well as by national Governments.  There should be a
balanced and integrated approach to trade and sustainable development,
based on a combination of trade liberalization, economic development
and environmental protection.  Trade obstacles should be removed with
a view to contributing to the achieving of more efficient use of the
earth's natural resources in both economic and environmental terms. 
Trade liberalization should be accompanied by environmental and
resource management policies in order to realize its full potential
contribution to improved environmental protection and the promotion of
sustainable development through the more efficient allocation and use
of resources.  The multilateral trading system should have the
capacity to further integrate environmental considerations and enhance
its contribution to sustainable development, without undermining its
open, equitable and non-discriminatory character.  The special and
differential treatment for developing countries, especially the least
developed countries, and the other commitments of the Uruguay Round of
multilateral trade negotiations 18/ should be fully implemented in
order to enable those countries to benefit from the international
trading system, while conserving the environment.  There is a need for
continuing the elimination of discriminatory and protectionist
practices in international trade relations, which will have the effect
of improving access for the exports of developing countries.  This
will also facilitate the full integration of economies in transition
into the world economy.  In order to make trade, environment and
development mutually supportive, measures need to be taken to ensure
transparency in the use of trade measures related to the environment,
and should address the root causes of environmental degradation so as
not to result in disguised barriers to trade.  Account should be taken
of the fact that environmental standards valid for developed countries
may have unwarranted social and economic costs in other countries, in
particular developing countries.  International cooperation is needed
and unilateralism should be avoided.  The following actions are

   (a)   There should be timely and full implementation of the results
of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations and full use
of the Comprehensive and Integrated World Trade Organization Plan of
Action for the Least Developed Countries; 19/

   (b)   An open, non-discriminatory, rule-based, equitable, secure,
transparent and predictable multilateral trading system should be
promoted.  In this context, effective measures are called for to
achieve the complete integration of developing countries and countries
with economies in transition into the world economy and the new
international trading system.  In this connection, there is a need to
promote the universality of the World Trade Organization and to
facilitate the admission to membership in that organization, in a
mutually beneficial way, of developing countries and countries with
economies in transition applying for membership.  Actions should be
taken to maximize the opportunities and to minimize the difficulties
of developing countries, including the net food-importing ones,
especially the least developed countries, and of countries with
economies in transition, in adjusting to the changes introduced by the
Uruguay Round.  Decisions on further liberalization of trade should
take into account effects on sustainable development and should be
consistent with an open, rule-based, non-discriminatory, equitable,
secure and transparent multilateral trading system.  The relationship
between multilateral environmental agreements and the World Trade
Organization rules should be clarified;

   (c)   Implementation of environmental measures should not result in
disguised barriers to trade; 

   (d)   Within the framework of Agenda 21, trade rules and
environmental principles should interact harmoniously;

   (e)   Further analysis of the environmental effects of the
international transport of goods is warranted; 

   (f)  Cooperation and coordination between the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization, the World Trade Organization, the United
Nations Environment Programme and other relevant institutions should
be strengthened on various issues, including (i) the role of positive
measures in multilateral environmental agreements as part of a package
of measures including, in certain cases, trade measures; (ii) the
special conditions and needs of small and medium-sized enterprises in
the trade and environment interface; (iii) trade and environment
issues at the regional and subregional levels, including within the
context of regional economic and trade as well as environmental

   (g)   Cooperation and coordination between the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development and other relevant bodies within
their existing respective mandates should be enhanced, inter alia, on
environment and sustainable development issues.  Without prejudice to
the clear understanding in the World Trade Organization that future
negotiations, if any, regarding a multilateral agreement on investment
will take place only after an explicit consensus decision, future
agreements on investments should take into account the objectives of
sustainable development and, when developing countries are parties to
these agreements, special attention should be given to their needs for

   (h)   National Governments should make every effort to ensure
policy coordination on trade, environment and development at the
national level in support of sustainable development;

   (i)  There is a need for the World Trade Organization, the United
Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development to consider ways to make trade and environment
mutually supportive, including through due respect for the objectives
and principles of the multilateral trading system and for the
provisions of multilateral environmental agreements.  Such
considerations should be consistent with an open, rule-based,
non-discriminatory, equitable, secure and transparent multilateral
trading system.


30.   The impact of the relationship among economic growth, poverty,
employment, environment and sustainable development has become a major
concern.  There is a need to recognize the critical linkages between
demographic trends and factors and sustainable development.  The
current decline in population growth rates must be further promoted
through national and international policies that promote economic
development, social development, environmental protection, and poverty
eradication, particularly the further expansion of basic education,
with full and equal access for girls and women, and health care,
including reproductive health care, including both family planning and
sexual health, consistent with the report of the International
Conference on Population and Development. 20/


31.   The goals of sustainable development cannot be achieved when a
high proportion of the population is afflicted with debilitating
illnesses.  An overriding goal for the future is to implement the
Health for All strategy 21/ and to enable all people, particularly
the world's poor, to achieve a higher level of health and well-being,

and to improve their economic productivity and social potential. 
Protecting children from environmental health threats and infectious
disease is particularly urgent since children are more susceptible
than adults to those threats.  Top priority should be attached to
supporting the efforts of countries, particularly developing
countries, and international organizations to eradicate the major
infectious diseases, especially malaria, which is on the increase, to
improve and expand basic health and sanitation services, and to
provide safe drinking water.  It is also important to reduce
indigenous cases of vaccine-preventable diseases through the promotion
of widespread immunization programmes, promote accelerated research
and vaccine development and reduce the transmission of other major
infectious diseases, such as dengue fever, tuberculosis and human
immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). 
Given the severe and irreversible health effects of lead poisoning,
particularly on children, it is important to accelerate the process of
eliminating unsafe uses of lead, including the use of lead in gasoline
worldwide, in light of country-specific conditions and with enhanced
international support and assistance to developing countries,
particularly through the timely provision of technical and financial
assistance and the promotion of endogenous capacity-building. 
Strategies at the regional, national and local levels for reducing the
potential risk due to ambient and indoor air pollution should be
developed, bearing in mind their serious impacts on human health,
including strategies to make parents, families and communities aware
of the adverse environmental health impacts of tobacco.  The clear
linkage between health and the environment needs to be emphasized and
the lack of information on the impact of environmental pollution on
health should be addressed.  Health issues should be fully integrated
into national and subnational sustainable development plans and should
be incorporated into project and programme development as a component
of environmental impact assessments.  Important to efforts at national
levels is international cooperation in disease prevention, early
warning, surveillance, reporting, training and research, and

Sustainable human settlements

32.   Sustainable human settlements development is essential to
sustainable development.  The need to intensify efforts and
cooperation to improve living conditions in the cities, towns,
villages and rural areas throughout the world is recognized. 
Approximately half the world's population already lives in urban
settlements, and by early in the next century the majority - more than
5 billion people - will be urban residents.  Urban problems are
concerns common to both developed and developing countries, although
urbanization is occurring most rapidly in developing countries. 
Urbanization creates both challenges and opportunities.  Global
urbanization is a cross-sectoral phenomenon that has an impact on all
aspects of sustainable development.  Urgent action is needed to
implement fully the commitments made at the United Nations Conference
on Human Settlements (Habitat II) consistent with its report, 22/
and in Agenda 21.  New and additional financial resources from various
sources are necessary to achieve the goals of adequate shelter for all
and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world. 
Transfer of expertise and technology, capacity-building,
decentralization of authority through, inter alia, strengthening of
local capacity and private-public partnerships to improve the
provision and environmentally sound management of infrastructure and
social services should be accelerated to achieve more sustainable
human settlements development.  Local Agenda 21 programmes should also
be actively encouraged.  Global targets could be established by the
Commission on Sustainable Development to promote local Agenda 21
campaigns and to deal with obstacles to local Agenda 21 initiatives.

                            B.  Sectors and issues

33.   The present section identifies a number of specific areas that
are of widespread concern since failure to reverse current trends in
these areas, notably in resource degradation, will have potentially
disastrous effects on social and economic development, on human health
and on environmental protection for all countries, particularly
developing countries.  All sectors covered by Agenda 21 are equally
important and thus deserve attention by the international community on
an equal footing.  The need for integration is important in all
sectors, including the areas of energy and transport because of the
adverse effects that developments in those areas can have on human
health and ecosystems; the areas of agriculture and water use, where
inadequate land-use planning, poor water management and inappropriate
technology can result in the degradation of natural resources and
human impoverishment and where drought and desertification can result
in land degradation and soil loss; and the area of management of
marine resources, where competitive overexploitation can damage the
resource base, food supplies and the livelihood of fishing
communities, as well as the environment.  The recommendations made in
each of the sectors take into account the need for international
cooperation in support of national efforts, within the context of the
principles of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, including, inter alia, the principle of common but
differentiated responsibilities.  It is likewise understood that these
recommendations do not in any way prejudice the work accomplished
under legally binding conventions, where they exist, concerning these

Fresh water

34.   Water resources are essential for satisfying basic human needs,
health and food production, and the preservation of ecosystems, as
well as for economic and social development in general.  It is a
matter of urgent concern that more than one fifth of all people still
do not have access to safe drinking water and more than one half of
humanity lacks adequate sanitation.  From the perspective of
developing countries, fresh water is a priority and a basic need,
especially taking into account that in many developing countries fresh
water is not readily available for all segments of the population,
inter alia, owing to lack of adequate infrastructure and capacity,
water scarcity, and technical and financial constraints.  Moreover,
fresh water is also crucial for developing countries in order to
satisfy the basic needs of their population in the areas of
agricultural irrigation, industrial development, hydroelectric
generation, and so forth.  In view of the growing demands on water,
which is a finite resource, it will become a major limiting factor in
socio-economic development unless early action is taken.  There is
growing concern regarding the increasing stress on water supplies
caused by unsustainable use patterns, affecting both water quality and
quantity, and the widespread lack of access to safe water supply and
suitable sanitation in many developing countries.  Because the
commitments of the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation
Decade of the 1980s have not been fully met, there is still a need to
ensure the optimal use and protection of all fresh-water resources, so
that the needs of everyone on this planet, including access to safe
drinking water and sanitation, can be met.  This calls for the highest
priority to be given to the serious fresh-water problems facing many
regions, especially in the developing world.  There is an urgent need:

   (a)   To assign high priority, in accordance with specific national
needs and conditions, to the formulation and implementation of
policies and programmes for integrated watershed management, including
issues related to pollution and waste, the interrelationship between
water and land, including mountains, forests, upstream and downstream
users, estuarine environments, biodiversity and the preservation of
aquatic ecosystems, wetlands, climate and land degradation and
desertification, recognizing that subnational, national and regional
approaches to fresh-water protection and consumption following a
watershed basin or river basin approach offer a useful model for the
protection of fresh-water supplies;

   (b)   To strengthen regional and international cooperation for
technological transfer and the financing of integrated water resources
programmes and projects, in particular those designed to increase
access to safe water supply and sanitation;

   (c)   To ensure the continued participation of local communities,
and women in particular, in the management of water resources
development and use;

   (d)   To provide an enabling national and international environment
that encourages investments from public and private sources to improve
water supply and sanitation services, especially in fast growing urban
and peri-urban areas, as well as in poor rural communities in
developing countries; and for the international community to adopt and
implement commitments to support the efforts to assist developing
countries in achieving access to safe drinking water and sanitation
for all;

   (e)   To recognize water as a social and economic good with a vital
role in the satisfaction of basic human needs, food security, poverty
alleviation and the protection of ecosystems.  Economic valuation of
water should be seen within the context of its social and economic
implications, reflecting the importance of meeting basic needs. 
Consideration should be given to the gradual implementation of pricing
policies that are geared towards cost recovery and the equitable and
efficient allocation of water, including the promotion of water
conservation, in developed countries; such policies could also be
considered in developing countries when they reach an appropriate
stage in their development, so as to promote the harmonious management
and development of scarce water resources and generate financial
resources for investment in new water supply and treatment facilities. 
Such strategies should also include programmes assigned to minimize
wasteful consumption of water;

   (f)   To strengthen the capability of Governments and international
institutions to collect and manage information, including scientific,
social and environmental data, in order to facilitate the integrated
assessment and management of water resources, and foster regional and
international cooperation for information dissemination and exchange
through cooperative approaches among United Nations institutions,
including the United Nations Environment Programme, and centres for
environmental excellence.  In this regard, technical assistance to
developing countries will continue to be important;

   (g)   For the international community to give support to the
efforts of developing countries, with their limited resources, to
shift to higher-value, less water-intensive modes of agricultural and
industrial production and to develop the educational and informational
infrastructure necessary to improve the skills of the labour force
required for the economic transformation that needs to take place if
use of fresh-water resources is to be sustainable.  International
support for the integrated development of water resources in
developing countries, and appropriate innovative initiatives and
approaches at the bilateral and regional levels are also required;

   (h)   To encourage watercourse States to develop international
watercourses with a view to attaining sustainable utilization and
appropriate protection thereof and benefits therefrom, taking into
account the interests of the watercourse States concerned.

35.   Considering the urgent need for action in the field of fresh
water, and building on existing principles and instruments,
arrangements, programmes of action and customary uses of water,
Governments call for a dialogue under the aegis of the Commission on
Sustainable Development, beginning at its sixth session, aimed at
building a consensus on the necessary actions, and in particular, on
the means of implementation and on tangible results, in order to
consider initiating a strategic approach for the implementation of all
aspects of the sustainable use of fresh water for social and economic
purposes, including, inter alia, safe drinking water and sanitation,
water for irrigation,  recycling, and waste-water management, and the
important role fresh water plays in natural ecosystems.  This
intergovernmental process will be fully fruitful only if there is a
proved commitment by the international community to the provision of
new and additional financial resources for the goals of this

Oceans and seas

36.   Progress has been achieved since the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development in the negotiation of agreements and
voluntary instruments for improving the conservation and management of
fishery resources and for the protection of the marine environment. 
Furthermore, progress has been made in the conservation and management
of specific fishery stocks for the purpose of securing the sustainable
utilization of these resources.  Despite this, the decline of many
fish stocks, high levels of discards, and rising marine pollution
continue.  Governments should take full advantage of the challenge and
opportunity presented by the International Year of the Ocean in 1998. 
There is a need to continue to improve decision-making at the
national, regional and global levels.  To address the need for
improving global decision-making on the marine environment, there is
an urgent need for Governments to implement decision 4/15 of the
Commission on Sustainable Development, 23/ in which the Commission,
inter alia, called for a periodic intergovernmental review by the
Commission of all aspects of the marine environment and its related
issues, as described in chapter 17 of Agenda 21, and for which the
overall legal framework was provided by the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea.  There is a need for concerted action by all
countries and for improved cooperation to assist developing countries
in implementing the relevant agreements and instruments in order that
they may participate effectively in the sustainable use, conservation
and management of their fishery resources, as provided for in the
Convention and other international legal instruments, and achieve
integrated coastal zone management.  In that context, there is an
urgent need for:

   (a)   All Governments to ratify or to accede to the relevant
agreements as soon as possible and to implement effectively such
agreements as well as relevant voluntary instruments;

   (b)   All Governments to implement General Assembly resolution
51/189 of 16 December 1996, including the strengthening of
institutional links to be established between the relevant
intergovernmental mechanisms involved in the development and
implementation of integrated coastal zone management.  Following
progress on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and
bearing in mind Principle 13 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and
Development, there is a need to strengthen the implementation of
existing international and regional agreements on marine pollution,
with a view in particular to ensuring better contingency planning,
response, and liability and compensation mechanisms;

   (c)   Better identification of priorities for action at the global
level to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the marine
environment, as well as better means for integrating such action;

   (d)   Further international cooperation to support the
strengthening, where needed, of regional and subregional agreements
for the protection and sustainable use of the oceans and seas;

   (e)   Governments to prevent or eliminate overfishing and excess
fishing capacity through the adoption of management measures and
mechanisms to ensure the sustainable management and utilization of
fishery resources and to undertake programmes of work to achieve the
reduction and elimination of wasteful fishing practices, wherever they
may occur, especially in relation to large-scale industrialized
fishing.  The emphasis given by the Commission on Sustainable
Development at its fourth session to the importance of effective
conservation and management of fish stocks, and in particular to
eliminating overfishing, in order to identify specific steps at
national or regional levels to prevent or eliminate excess fishing
capacity, will need to be carried forward in all appropriate
international forums including, in particular, the Committee on
Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United

   (f)   Governments to consider the positive and negative impact of
subsidies on the conservation and management of fisheries through
national, regional and appropriate international organizations and,
based on these analyses, to consider appropriate action;

   (g)   Governments to take actions, individually and through their
participation in competent global and regional forums, to improve the
quality and quantity of scientific data as a basis for effective
decisions related to the protection of the marine environment and the
conservation and management of marine living resources; in this
regard, greater international cooperation is required to assist
developing countries, in particular small island developing States, to
operationalize data networks and clearing houses for
information-sharing on oceans.  In this context, particular emphasis
must be placed on the collection of biological and other
fisheries-related information and the resources for its collation,
analysis and dissemination.


37.   The management, conservation and sustainable development of all
types of forests are a crucial factor in economic and social
development, in environmental protection and in the planet's life-
support system.  Forests are one of the major reservoirs of biological
diversity; they act as carbon sinks and reservoirs; and they are a
significant source of renewable energy, particularly in the least
developed countries.  Forests are an integral part of sustainable
development and are essential to many indigenous people and other
forest-dependent people practising traditional lifestyles, forest
owners and local communities, many of whom possess important
traditional forest-related knowledge.

38.   Since the adoption of the Forest Principles at the Rio
Conference, tangible progress has been made in sustainable forest
management at the national, subregional, regional and international
levels and in the promotion of international cooperation on forests. 
The proposals for action contained in the report of the Ad Hoc
Intergovernmental Panel on Forests on its fourth session, 24/ which
were endorsed by the Commission on Sustainable Development at its
fifth session, 25/ represent significant progress and consensus on a
wide range of forest issues.

39.   To maintain the momentum generated by the Intergovernmental Panel
process and to facilitate and encourage the holistic, integrated and
balanced intergovernmental policy dialogue on all types of forests in
the future, which continues to be an open, transparent and
participatory process, requires a long-term political commitment to
sustainable forest management worldwide.  Against this background,
there is an urgent need for:

   (a)   Countries and international organizations and institutions to
implement the proposals for action agreed by the Intergovernmental
Panel, in an expeditious and effective manner, and in collaboration
and through effective partnership with all interested parties,
including major groups, in particular indigenous people and local

   (b)   Countries to develop national forest programmes in accordance
with their respective national conditions, objectives and priorities;

   (c)   Enhanced international cooperation to implement the
Intergovernmental Panel's proposals for action directed towards the
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
forests, including provision for financial resources,
capacity-building, research and the transfer of technology;

   (d)   Further clarification of all issues arising from the
programme elements of the Intergovernmental Panel process;

   (e)   International institutions and organizations to continue
their work and to undertake further coordination and explore means for
collaboration in the informal, high-level Inter-agency Task Force on
Forests, focusing on the implementation of the Intergovernmental
Panel's proposals for action, in accordance with their respective
mandates and comparative advantage;

   (f)   Countries to provide consistent guidance to the governing
bodies of relevant international institutions and instruments with
respect to taking efficient and effective measures, as well as to
coordinating their forest-related work at all levels, in respect of
incorporating the Intergovernmental Panel's proposals for action into
their work programmes and under existing agreements and arrangements.

40.   To help achieve this, it is decided to continue the
intergovernmental policy dialogue on forests through the establishment
of an ad hoc open-ended Intergovernmental Forum on Forests under the
aegis of the Commission on Sustainable Development to work in an open,
transparent and participatory manner, with a focused and time-limited
mandate, and charged with, inter alia:

   (a)   Promoting and facilitating the implementation of the
Intergovernmental Panel's proposals for action;

   (b)   Reviewing, monitoring and reporting on progress in the
management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of

   (c)   Considering matters left pending as regards the programme
elements of the Intergovernmental Panel, in particular trade and
environment in relation to forest products and services, transfer of
technology and the need for financial resources.

The Forum should also identify the possible elements of and work
towards consensus on international arrangements and mechanisms, for
example, a legally binding instrument.  The Forum will report on its
work to the Commission on Sustainable Development in 1999.  Based on
that report, and depending on the decision of the Commission at its
eighth session, the Forum will engage in further action on
establishing an intergovernmental negotiation process on new
arrangements and mechanisms or a legally binding instrument on all
types of forests.

41.   The Forum should convene as soon as possible to further elaborate
its terms of reference and decide on organizational matters.  It
should be serviced by a small secretariat within the Department for
Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development of the United Nations
Secretariat supported by voluntary extrabudgetary contributions from
Governments and international organizations.


42.   Energy is essential to economic and social development and
improved quality of life.  However, sustainable patterns of
production, distribution and use of energy are crucial.  Fossil fuels
(coal, oil and natural gas) will continue to dominate the energy
supply situation for many years to come in most developed and
developing countries.  What is required then is to reduce the
environmental impact of their continued development, and to reduce
local health hazards and environmental pollution through enhanced
international cooperation, notably in the provision of concessional
finance for capacity development and transfer of the relevant
technology, and through appropriate national action.

43.   In developing countries, sharp increases in energy services are
required to improve the standard of living of their growing
populations.  The increase in the level of energy services would have
a beneficial impact on poverty eradication by increasing employment
opportunities and improving transportation, health and education. 
Many developing countries, in particular the least developed, face the
urgent need to provide adequate modern energy services, especially to
billions of people in rural areas.  This requires significant
financial, human and technical resources and a broad-based mix of
energy sources.

44.   The objectives envisaged in this section should reflect the need
for equity, adequate energy supplies and increasing energy consumption
in developing countries and should take into account the situation of
countries that are highly dependent on income generated from the
production, processing and export, and/or consumption, of fossil fuels
and that have serious difficulties in switching to alternative sources
of energy, and the situation of countries highly vulnerable to the
adverse effects of climate change.  

45.   Advances towards sustainable energy use are taking place and all
parties can benefit from progress made in other countries.  It is also
necessary to ensure international cooperation for promoting energy
conservation and improvement of energy efficiency, the use of
renewable energy and research, and the development and dissemination
of innovative energy-related technology. 

46.   Therefore there is a need for: 

   (a)   A movement towards sustainable patterns of production,
distribution and use of energy.  To advance this work at the
intergovernmental level, the Commission on Sustainable Development
will discuss energy issues at its ninth session.  Noting the vital
role of energy in the continuation of sustained economic growth,
especially for developing countries, be they importers or suppliers of
energy, and recognizing the complexities and interdependencies
inherent in addressing energy issues within the context of sustainable
development, preparations for this session should be initiated at the
seventh session and should utilize an open-ended intergovernmental
group of experts on energy and sustainable development to be held in
conjunction with inter-sessional meetings of the eighth and ninth
sessions of the Commission.  In line with the objectives of Agenda 21,
the ninth session of the Commission should contribute to a sustainable
energy future for all;

   (b)   Evolving concrete measures to strengthen international
cooperation in order to assist developing countries in their domestic
efforts to provide adequate modern energy services, especially
electricity, to all sections of their population, particularly in
rural areas, in an environmentally sound manner;

   (c)   Countries to promote policies and plans, bearing in mind the
specific needs and priorities of developing countries, that take into
account the economic, social and environmental aspects of the
production, distribution and use of energy, including the use of
lower-pollutant sources of energy such as natural gas;

   (d)   Evolving commitments for the transfer of relevant technology,
including time-bound commitments, as appropriate, to developing
countries and economies in transition so as to enable them to increase
the use of renewable energy sources and cleaner fossil fuels and to
improve efficiency in energy production, distribution and use. 
Countries need to systematically increase the use of renewable energy
sources according to their specific social, economic, natural,
geographical and climatic conditions and cleaner fuel technologies,
including fossil fuel technologies, and to improve efficiency in
energy production, distribution and use and in other industrial
production processes that are intensive users of energy;

   (e)   Promoting efforts in research on and development and use of
renewable energy technologies at the international and national

   (f)   In the context of fossil fuels, encouraging further research,
development, and the application and transfer of technology of a
cleaner and more efficient nature, through effective international

   (g)   Encouraging Governments and the private sector to consider
appropriate ways to gradually promote environmental cost
internalization so as to achieve more sustainable use of energy,
taking fully into account the economic, social and environmental
conditions of all countries, in particular developing countries.  In
this regard, the international community should cooperate to minimize
the possible adverse impacts on the development process of developing
countries resulting from the implementation of those policies and
measures.  There is also a need to encourage the reduction and the
gradual elimination of subsidies for energy production and consumption
that inhibit sustainable development.  Such policies should take fully
into account the specific needs and conditions of developing
countries, particularly least developed countries, as reflected in the
special and differential treatment accorded them in the Uruguay Round
of multilateral trade negotiations Agreement on Subsidies and
Countervailing Measures;

   (h)   Encouraging better coordination on the issue of energy within
the United Nations system, under the guidance of the General Assembly
and taking into account the coordinating role of the Economic and
Social Council.


47.   The transport sector and mobility in general have an essential
and positive role to play in economic and social development, and
transportation needs will undoubtedly increase.  Over the next twenty
years, transportation is expected to be the major driving force behind
a growing world demand for energy.  The transport sector is the
largest end-user of energy in developed countries and the fastest
growing one in most developing countries.  Current patterns of
transportation with their dominant patterns of energy use are not
sustainable and on the basis of present trends may compound the
environmental problems the world is facing and the health impacts
referred to in paragraph 31 above.  There is a need for:

   (a)   The promotion of integrated transport policies that consider
alternative approaches to meeting commercial and private mobility
needs and improve performance in the transport sector at the national,
regional and global levels, and particularly a need to encourage
international cooperation in the transfer of environmentally sound
technologies in the transport sector and implementation of appropriate
training programmes in accordance with national programmes and

   (b)   The integration of land-use and urban, peri-urban and rural
transport planning, taking into account the need to protect

   (c)   The adoption and promotion, as appropriate, of measures to
mitigate the negative impact of transportation on the environment,
including measures to improve efficiency in the transportation sector;

   (d)   The use of a broad spectrum of policy instruments to improve
energy efficiency and efficiency standards in transportation and
related sectors;

   (e)   The continuation of studies in the appropriate forums,
including the International Civil Aviation Organization, on the use of
economic instruments for the mitigation of the negative environmental
impact of aviation in the context of sustainable development;

   (f)   Accelerating the phasing-out of the use of leaded gasoline as
soon as possible, in pursuit of the objectives of reducing the severe
health impacts of human exposure to lead.  In this regard,
technological and economic assistance should continue to be provided
to developing countries in order to enable them to make such a

   (g)   The promotion of voluntary guidelines for environmentally
friendly transport, and actions for reducing vehicle emissions of
carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter
and volatile organic compounds, as soon as possible;

   (h)   Partnerships at the national level, involving Governments,
local authorities, non-governmental organizations and the private
sector, for strengthening transport infrastructures and developing
innovative mass transport schemes. 


48.   Ensuring that the global climate and atmosphere are not further
damaged, with irreversible consequences for future generations,
requires political will and concerted efforts by the international
community in accordance with the principles enshrined in the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Under the Convention,
some first steps have been taken to deal with the global problem of
climate change.  Despite the adoption of the Convention, the emission
and concentration of greenhouse gases continue to rise, even as
scientific evidence assembled by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change  and other relevant bodies continues to diminish the
uncertainties and points ever more strongly to the severe risk of
global climate change.  So far, insufficient progress has been made by
many developed countries in meeting their aim to return greenhouse gas
emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000.  It is recognized as one
critical element of the Berlin Mandate 26/ that the commitments set
out under article 4, paragraph 2 (a) and (b), of the Convention are
inadequate and that there is therefore a need to strengthen them.  It
is most important that the Conference of the Parties to the
Convention, at its third session, to be held at Kyoto, Japan in
December 1997, adopt a protocol or other legal instrument that fully
encompasses the Berlin Mandate.  The Geneva Ministerial Declaration,
27/ which was noted without formal adoption, but which received
majority support among ministers and other heads of delegation
attending the second session of the Conference of the Parties, also
called for, inter alia, the acceleration of negotiations on the text
of a legally binding protocol or other legal instrument.

49.   At the present nineteenth special session of the General
Assembly, the international community has confirmed its recognition of
the problem of climate change as one of the biggest challenges facing
the world in the next century.  The leaders of many countries have
stressed the seriousness of this problem in their statements to the
Assembly, and have outlined the actions they had in hand to respond to
the challenge, both in their own countries and internationally. 

50.   The ultimate goal that all countries share is to achieve
stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a
level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the
climate system.  This requires efficient and cost-effective policies
and measures that will be sufficient to result in a significant
reduction in emissions.  At the present session, countries reviewed
the status of the preparations for the third session of the Conference
of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change.  All agreed that a satisfactory result was vital.

51.   The position of many countries with respect to these negotiations
is still evolving, and it was agreed that it would not be appropriate
to seek to predetermine the results; however, useful discussions on
evolving positions took place.

52.   There is already widespread but not universal agreement that it
will be necessary to consider legally binding, meaningful, realistic
and equitable targets for countries listed in annex I to the
Convention that will result in significant reductions in greenhouse
gas emissions within specified time frames, such as 2005, 2010 and
2020.  In addition to establishing targets, there is also widespread
agreement that it will be necessary to consider ways and means of
achieving them and to take into account the economic, adverse
environmental and other effects of such response measures on all
countries, particularly developing countries.

53.   International cooperation in the implementation of chapter 9 of
Agenda 21, in particular in the transfer of technology to and
capacity-building in developing countries, is also essential to
promote the effective implementation of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change.

54.   There is also a need to strengthen systematic observational
networks so as to identify the possible onset and distribution of
climate change and assess potential impacts, particularly at the
regional level.

55.   The ozone layer continues to be severely depleted and the
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer 28/
needs to be strengthened.  The Copenhagen Amendment to the Protocol
needs to be ratified.  The recent successful conclusion of the
replenishment negotiations with respect to the Montreal Protocol
Multilateral Fund is welcomed.  This has made available funds for,
among other things, earlier phase-out of ozone-depleting substances,
including methyl bromide, in developing countries.  Future
replenishment should also be adequate to ensure timely implementation
of the Montreal Protocol.  An increased focus on capacity-building
programmes in developing countries within multilateral funds is also
needed, as well as the implementation of effective measures against
illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances.

56.   Rising levels of transboundary air pollution should be countered,
including through appropriate regional cooperation to reduce pollution

Toxic chemicals

57.   The sound management of chemicals is essential to sustainable
development and is fundamental to human health and environmental
protection.  All those responsible for chemicals throughout their life
cycle bear the responsibility for achieving this goal.  Substantial
progress on the sound management of chemicals has been made since the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in
particular through the establishment of the Intergovernmental Forum on
Chemical Safety and the Inter-Organizational Programme for the Sound
Management of Chemicals.  In addition, domestic regulations have been
complemented by the Code of Ethics on the International Trade in
Chemicals and by voluntary industry initiatives, such as Responsible
Care.  Despite substantial progress, a number of chemicals continue to
pose significant threats to local, regional and global ecosystems and
to human health.  Since the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development, there has been an increased understanding of the
serious damage that certain toxic chemicals can cause to human health
and the environment.  Much remains to be done and the environmentally
sound management of chemicals should continue to be an important issue
well beyond 2000.  Particular attention should also be given to
cooperation in the development and transfer of technology of safe
substitutes and in the development of capacity for the production of
such substitutes.  The decision concerning the sound management of
chemicals adopted by the Governing Council of the United Nations
Environment Programme at its nineteenth session 29/ should be
implemented in accordance with the agreed timetables for negotiations
on the conventions relating to prior informed consent and persistent
organic pollutants.  It is noted that inorganic chemicals possess
roles and behaviour that are distinct from organic chemicals.

Hazardous wastes

58.   Substantial progress has been made in the implementation of the
Basel Convention, 30/ the Bamako Convention, 31/ the Fourth Lome'
Convention 32/ and other regional conventions, although more remains
to be done.  Important initiatives aimed at promoting the
environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes under the Basel
Convention, include (a) activities undertaken to prevent illegal
traffic in hazardous wastes; (b) the establishment of regional centres
for training and technology transfer regarding hazardous waste
minimization and management; and (c) the treatment and disposal of
hazardous wastes as close as possible to their source of origin. 
These initiatives should be further developed.  It is also important
and urgent that work under the Basel Convention be completed to define
which hazardous wastes are controlled under the Convention and to
negotiate, adopt and implement a protocol on liability and
compensation for damage resulting from the transboundary movement and
disposal of hazardous wastes.  Land contaminated by the disposal of
hazardous wastes needs to be identified and remedial actions put in
hand.  Integrated management solutions are also required to minimize
urban and industrial waste generation and to promote recycling and

Radioactive wastes

59.   Radioactive wastes can have very serious environmental and human
health impacts over long periods of time.  It is therefore essential
that they be managed in a safe and responsible way.  The storage,
transportation, transboundary movement and disposal of radioactive
wastes should be guided by all the principles of the Rio Declaration
on Environment and Development and by Agenda 21.  States that generate
radioactive wastes have a responsibility to ensure their safe storage
and disposal.  In general, radioactive wastes should be disposed of in
the territory of the State in which they are generated as far as is
compatible with the safety of the management of such material.  Each
country has the responsibility of ensuring that radioactive wastes
that fall within its jurisdiction are managed properly in accordance
with internationally accepted principles, taking fully into account
any transboundary effects.  The international community should make
all efforts to prohibit the export of radioactive wastes to those
countries that do not have appropriate waste treatment and storage
facilities.  The international community recognizes that regional
arrangements or jointly used facilities might be appropriate for the
disposal of such wastes in certain circumstances.  The management of
radioactive wastes 33/ should be undertaken in a manner consistent
with international law, including the provisions of relevant
international and regional conventions, and with internationally
accepted standards.  It is important to intensify safety measures with
regard to radioactive wastes.  States, in cooperation with relevant
international organizations, where appropriate, should not promote or
allow the storage or disposal of high-level, intermediate-level or
low-level radioactive wastes near the marine environment unless they
determine that scientific evidence, consistent with the applicable
internationally agreed principles and guidelines, shows that such
storage or disposal poses no unacceptable risk to people or the marine
environment and does not interfere with other legitimate uses of the
sea.  In the process of the consideration of that evidence,
appropriate application of the precautionary approach principle should
be made.  Further action is needed by the international community to
address the need for enhancing awareness of the importance of the safe
management of radioactive wastes, and to ensure the prevention of
incidents and accidents involving the uncontrolled release of such

60.   One of the main recommendations of Agenda 21 and of the
Commission on Sustainable Development at its second session in this
area was to support the ongoing efforts of the International Atomic
Energy Agency, the International Maritime Organization and other
relevant international organizations.  The Joint Convention on the
Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste
Management currently being negotiated under the auspices of the Agency
is now close to completion.  It will provide a comprehensive
codification of international law and a guide to best practices in
this area.  It will rightly be based on all the principles of best
practice for this subject that have evolved in the international
community, including the principle that, in general, radioactive
wastes should be disposed of in the State in which they were generated
as far as is compatible with the safety of the management of such
material.  Governments should finalize this text and are urged to
ratify and implement it as soon as possible so as to further improve
practice and strengthen safety in this area.  Transportation of
irradiated nuclear fuel and high-level waste by sea should be guided
by the INF Code, which should be considered for development into a
mandatory instrument.  The issue of the potential transboundary
environmental effects of activities related to the management of
radioactive wastes and the question of prior notification, relevant
information and consultation with States that could potentially be
affected by such effects, should be further addressed within the
appropriate forums.

61.   Increased global and regional cooperation, including exchange of
information and experience and transfer of appropriate technologies,
is needed to improve the management of radioactive wastes.  There is a
need to support the clean-up of sites contaminated as a result of all
types of nuclear activity and to conduct health studies in the regions
around those sites, as appropriate, with a view to identifying where
health treatment may be needed and should be provided.  Technical
assistance should be provided to developing countries, recognizing the
special needs of small island developing States in particular, to
enable them to develop or improve procedures for the management and
safe disposal of radioactive wastes deriving from the use of
radionuclides in medicine, research and industry.

Land and sustainable agriculture

62.   Land degradation and soil loss threaten the livelihood of
millions of people and future food security, with implications for
water resources and the conservation of biodiversity.  There is an
urgent need to define ways to combat or reverse the worldwide
accelerating trend of soil degradation, using an ecosystem approach,
taking into account the needs of populations living in mountain
ecosystems and recognizing the multiple functions of agriculture.  The
greatest challenge for humanity is to protect and sustainably manage
the natural resource base on which food and fibre production depend,
while feeding and housing a population that is still growing.  The
international community has recognized the need for an integrated
approach to the protection and sustainable management of land and soil
resources, as stated in decision III/11 of the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 34/ including
identification of land degradation, which involves all interested
parties at the local as well as the national level, including farmers,
small-scale food producers, indigenous people(s), non-governmental
organizations and, in particular, women, who have a  vital role in
rural communities.  This should include action to ensure secure land
tenure and access to land, credit and training, as well as the removal
of obstacles that inhibit farmers, especially small-scale farmers and
peasants, from investing in and improving their lands and farms. 

63.   It remains essential to continue efforts for the eradication of
poverty through, inter alia, capacity-building to reinforce local food
systems, improving food security and providing adequate nutrition for
the more than 800 million undernourished people in the world, located
mainly in developing countries.  Governments should formulate policies
that promote sustainable agriculture as well as productivity and
profitability.  Comprehensive rural policies are required to improve
access to land, combat poverty, create employment and reduce rural
emigration.  In accordance with the commitments agreed to in the Rome
Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of
Action, adopted by the World Food Summit, 35/ sustainable food
security for both the urban and the rural poor should be a policy
priority, and developed countries and the international community
should provide assistance to developing countries to this end.  To
meet these objectives, Governments should attach high priority to
implementing the commitments of the Rome Declaration and Plan of
Action, especially the call for a minimum target of halving the number
of undernourished people in the world by the year 2015.  Governments
and international organizations are encouraged to implement the Global
Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of
Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, adopted by the
International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources held at
Leipzig, Germany from 17 to 23 June 1996.  At the sixth session of the
Commission on Sustainable Development, in 1998, the issues of
sustainable agriculture and land use should be considered in relation
to freshwater.  The challenge for agricultural research is to increase
yields on all farmlands while protecting and conserving the natural
resource base.  The international community and Governments must
continue or increase investments in agricultural research because it
can take years or decades to develop new lines of research and put
research findings into sustainable practice on the land.  Developing
countries, particularly those with high population densities, will
need international cooperation to gain access to the results of such
research and to technology aimed at improving agricultural
productivity in limited spaces.  More generally, international
cooperation continues to be needed to assist developing countries in
many other aspects of basic requirements of agriculture.  There is a
need to support the continuation of the reform process in conformity
with the Uruguay Round agreements, particularly article 20 of the
Agreement on Agriculture, and to fully implement the World Trade
Organization Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative
Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net
Food-Importing Developing Countries.

Desertification and drought

64.   Governments are urged to conclude (by signing and ratifying,
accepting, approving and/or acceding to) and to implement as soon as
possible the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in
those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification,
particularly in Africa, which entered into force on 26 December 1996,
and to support and actively participate in the first session of the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention, which is to be held in
Rome in September 1997.  

65.   The international community is urged to recognize the vital
importance and necessity of international cooperation and partnership
in combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought. 
In order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of existing
financial mechanisms, the international community, in particular
developed countries, should therefore support the global mechanism
that would have the capacity to promote actions leading to the
mobilization and channelling of substantial resources for advancing
the implementation of the Convention and its regional annexes, and to
contribute to the eradication of poverty, which is one of the
principal consequences of desertification and drought in the majority
of affected countries.  Another view was that the international
community, in particular developed countries, should provide new and
additional resources towards the same ends.  The transfer to
developing countries of environmentally sound, economically viable and
socially acceptable technologies relevant to combating desertification
and/or mitigating the effects of drought, with a view to contributing
to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas,
should be undertaken without delay on mutually agreed terms.


66.   There remains an urgent need for the conservation and sustainable
use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of
benefits arising from the utilization of components of genetic
resources.  The threat to biodiversity stems mainly from habitat
destruction, over-harvesting, pollution and the inappropriate
introduction of foreign plants and animals.  There is an urgent need
for Governments and the international community, with the support of
relevant international institutions, as appropriate:

   (a)   To take decisive action to conserve and maintain genes,
species and ecosystems with a view to promoting the sustainable
management of biological diversity;

   (b)   To ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity and
implement it fully and effectively together with the decisions of the
Conference of the Parties, including recommendations on agricultural
biological diversity and the Jakarta Mandate on Marine and Coastal
Biological Diversity, and pursue urgently other tasks identified by
the Conference of the Parties at its third meeting under the work
programme on terrestrial biological diversity, 36/  within the
context of the ecosystems approach adopted in the Convention;

   (c)   To undertake concrete actions for the fair and equitable
sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic
resources, consistent with the provisions of the Convention and the
decisions of the Conference of the Parties on, inter alia, access to
genetic resources and the handling of biotechnology and its benefits;

   (d)   To pay further attention to the provision of new and
additional financial resources for the implementation of the

   (e)   To facilitate the transfer of technologies, including
biotechnology, to developing countries, consistent with the provisions
of the Convention;

   (f)   To respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and
practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional
lifestyles, and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits
arising from traditional knowledge so that those communities are
adequately protected and rewarded, consistent with the provisions of
the Convention on Biological Diversity and in accordance with the
decisions of the Conference of the Parties;

   (g)   To complete rapidly the biosafety protocol under the
Convention on Biological Diversity, on the understanding that the
United Nations Environment Programme International Technical
Guidelines for Safety in Biotechnology may be used as an interim
mechanism during its development, and to complement it after its
conclusion, including the recommendations on capacity-building related
to biosafety;

   (h)   To stress the importance of the establishment of a clearing-
house mechanism by Parties to the Convention, consistent with the
provisions of the Convention;

   (i)   To recognize the role of women in the conservation of
biological diversity and the sustainable use of biological resources;

   (j)   To provide the necessary support to integrate the
conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of
biological resources into national development plans;

   (k)   To promote international cooperation to develop and
strengthen national capacity-building, including human resource
development and institution-building; 

   (l)   To provide incentive measures at the national, regional and
international levels to promote the conservation and sustainable use
of biological diversity, and to consider means to enhance developing
countries' capabilities to compete in the emerging market for
biological resources, while improving the functioning of that market. 

Sustainable tourism

67.   Tourism is now one of the world's largest industries and one of
its fastest growing economic sectors.  The expected growth in the
tourism sector and the increasing reliance of many developing
countries, including small island developing States, on this sector as
a major employer and contributor to local, national, subregional and
regional economies highlights the need to pay special attention to the
relationship between environmental conservation and protection and
sustainable tourism.  In this regard, the efforts of developing
countries to broaden the traditional concept of tourism to include
cultural and eco-tourism merit special consideration as well as the
assistance of the international community, including the international
financial institutions.

68.   There is a need to consider further the importance of tourism in
the context of Agenda 21.  Tourism, like other sectors, uses
resources, generates wastes and creates environmental, cultural and
social costs and benefits in the process.  For sustainable patterns of
consumption and production in the tourism sector, it is essential to
strengthen national policy development and enhance capacity in the
areas of physical planning, impact assessment, and the use of economic
and regulatory instruments, as well as in the areas of information,
education and marketing.  A particular concern is the degradation of
biodiversity and fragile ecosystems, such as coral reefs, mountains,
coastal areas and wetlands.

69.   Policy development and implementation should take place in
cooperation with all interested parties, especially the private sector
and local and indigenous communities.  The Commission should develop
an action-oriented international programme of work on sustainable
tourism, to be defined in cooperation with the World Tourism
Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development,
the United Nations Environment Programme, the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant

70.   The sustainable development of tourism is of importance for all
countries, in particular for small island developing States. 
International cooperation is needed to facilitate tourism development
in developing countries - including the development and marketing of
eco-tourism, bearing in mind the importance of the conservation
policies required to secure long-term benefits from development in
this sector - in particular in small island developing States, in the
context of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of
Small Island Developing States.

Small island developing States

71.   The international community reaffirms its commitment to the
implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable
Development of Small Island Developing States.  The Commission on
Sustainable Development carried out a mid-term review of selected
programme areas of the Programme of Action at its fourth session, in
1996.  At its sixth session, in 1998, the Commission will undertake a
review of all the outstanding chapters and issues of the Programme of
Action.  A full and comprehensive review of the Programme of Action,
consistent with the review of other United Nations global conferences,
is scheduled for 1999.  The Commission, at its fifth session, adopted
a resolution on modalities for the full and comprehensive review of
the Programme of Action, in which it recommended that the General
Assembly hold a two-day special session immediately preceding its
fifty-fourth session for an in-depth assessment and appraisal of the
implementation of the Programme of Action. 37/ The full
implementation of the decision would represent a significant
contribution to achieving the objectives of the Global Conference for
the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. 

72.   Considerable efforts are being made at the national and regional
levels to implement the Programme of Action.  These efforts need to be
supplemented by effective financial support from the international
community.  External assistance for building the requisite
infrastructure and for national capacity-building, including human and
institutional capacity, and for facilitating access to information on
sustainable development practices and the transfer of environmentally
sound technologies, in accordance with paragraph 34.14 (b) of Agenda
21, is crucial for small island developing States to effectively
attain the goals of the Programme of Action.  To assist national
capacity-building, the small island developing States information
network and small island developing States technical assistance
programme should be made operational as soon as possible, with support
for existing regional and subregional institutions.

Natural disasters

73.   Natural disasters have disproportionate consequences for
developing countries, in particular small island developing States and
countries with extremely fragile ecosystems.  Programmes for
sustainable development should give higher priority to the
implementation of the commitments made at the World Conference on
Natural Disaster Reduction held at Yokohama, Japan from 23 to 27 May
1994. 38/ There is a particular need for capacity-building for
disaster planning and management and for the promotion and
facilitation of the transfer of early-warning technologies to
countries prone to disasters, in particular developing countries and
countries with economies in transition. 

74.   Given that further work is needed throughout the world, there is
a special need to provide developing countries with further assistance

   (a)   Strengthening mechanisms and policies designed to reduce the
effects of natural disasters, improve preparedness and integrate
natural disaster considerations in development planning, through,
inter alia, access to resources for disaster mitigation and
preparedness, response and recovery;

   (b)   Improving access to relevant technology and training in
hazard and risk assessment and early warning systems, and in
protection from environmental disasters, consistent with national,
subregional and regional strategies;

   (c)   Providing and facilitating technical, scientific and
financial support for disaster preparedness and response in the
context of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

Major technological and other disasters with an adverse impact on the

75.   Major technological and other disasters with an adverse impact on
the environment can be a substantial obstacle in the way of achieving
the goals of sustainable development in many countries.  The
international community should intensify cooperation in the prevention
and reduction of such disasters and in disaster relief and
post-disaster rehabilitation in order to enhance the capabilities of
affected countries to cope with such situations.

                          C.  Means of implementation

Financial resources and mechanisms

76.   Financial resources and mechanisms play a key role in the
implementation of Agenda 21.  In general, the financing for the
implementation of Agenda 21 will come from a country's own public and
private sectors.  For developing countries, official development
assistance is a main source of external funding, and substantial new
and additional funding for sustainable development and the
implementation of Agenda 21 will be required.  Hence, all financial
commitments of Agenda 21, particularly those contained in chapter 33,
and the provisions with regard to new and additional resources that
are both adequate and predictable need to be urgently fulfilled. 
Renewed efforts are essential to ensure that all sources of funding
contribute to economic growth, social development and environmental
protection in the context of sustainable development and the
implementation of Agenda 21.

77.   For developing countries, particularly those in Africa and the
least developed countries, official development assistance remains a
main source of external funding; it is essential for the prompt and
effective implementation of Agenda 21 and cannot generally be replaced
by private capital flows.  Developed countries should therefore fulfil
the commitments undertaken to reach the accepted United Nations target
of 0.7 per cent of gross national product as soon as possible.  In
this context the present downward trend in the ratio of official
development assistance to gross national product causes concern. 
Intensified efforts should be made to reverse this trend, taking into
account the need for improving the quality and effectiveness of
official development assistance.  In the spirit of global partnership,
the underlying factors that have led to this decrease should be
addressed by all countries.  Strategies should be worked out for
increasing donor support for aid programmes and revitalizing the
commitments that donors made at the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development.  Some countries already meet or exceed
the 0.7 per cent agreed target.  Official financial flows to
developing countries, particularly the least developed countries,
remain an essential element of the partnership embodied in Agenda 21. 
Official development assistance plays a significant role, inter alia,
in capacity-building, infrastructure, combating poverty and
environmental protection in developing countries, and a crucial role
in the least developed countries.  Official development assistance can
play an important complementary and catalytic role in promoting
economic growth and may, in some cases, play a catalytic role in
encouraging private investment and, where appropriate, all aspects of
country-driven capacity-building and strengthening.

78.   Funding by multilateral financial institutions through their
concessional mechanisms is also essential to developing countries in
their efforts to fully implement the sustainable development
objectives contained in Agenda 21.  Such institutions should continue
to respond to the development needs and priorities of developing
countries.  Developed countries should urgently meet their commitments
under the eleventh replenishment of the International Development

79.   Continued and full donor commitment to adequate, sustained and
predictable funding for Global Environment Facility operations is
important for developing countries so that global environmental
benefits can be further achieved.  Donor countries are urged to engage
in providing new and additional resources, with a view to equitable
burden-sharing, through the satisfactory replenishment of the
Facility, which makes available grant and concessional funding
designed to achieve global environmental benefits, thereby promoting
sustainable development.  Consideration should be given to further
exploring the flexibility of the existing mandate of the Facility in
supporting activities to achieve global environmental benefits.  With
regard to the project cycle, further efforts should be made to
continue streamlining the decision-making process in order to maintain
an effective and efficient, as well as transparent, participatory and
democratic framework.  The Global Environment Facility, when acting as
the operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on
Biological Diversity, should continue to operate in conformity with
those Conventions and promote their implementation.  The Facility
implementing agencies, the United Nations Development Programme, the
United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank, should
strengthen, as appropriate and in accordance with their respective
mandates, their cooperation at all levels, including the field level.

80.   The efficiency, effectiveness and impact of the operational
activities of the United Nations system must be enhanced by, inter
alia, a substantial increase in their funding on a predictable,
continuous and assured basis, commensurate with the increasing needs
of developing countries, as well as through the full implementation of
General Assembly resolutions 47/199 of 22 December 1992 and 48/162 of
20 December 1993.  There is a need for a substantial increase in
resources for operational activities for development on a predictable,
continuous and assured basis, commensurate with the increasing needs
of developing countries.

81.   Private capital is a major tool for achieving economic growth in
a growing number of developing countries.  Higher levels of foreign
private investment should be mobilized given its mounting importance. 
To stimulate higher levels of private investment, Governments should
aim at ensuring macroeconomic stability, open trade and investment
policies, and well-functioning legal and financial systems.  Further
studies should be undertaken, including studies on the design of an
appropriate environment, at both the national and international
levels, for facilitating foreign private investment, in particular
foreign direct investment flows to developing countries, and enhancing
its contribution to sustainable development.  To ensure that such
investments are supportive of sustainable development objectives, it
is essential that the national Governments of both investor and
recipient countries provide appropriate regulatory frameworks and
incentives for private investment.  Therefore further work should be
undertaken on the design of appropriate policies and measures aimed at
promoting long-term investment flows to developing countries for
activities that increase their productive capability, and at reducing
the volatility of these flows.  Official development assistance donors
and multilateral development banks are encouraged to strengthen their
commitment to supporting investment in developing countries in a
manner that jointly promotes economic growth, social development and
environmental protection.

82.   The external debt problem continues to hamper the efforts of
developing countries to achieve sustainable development.  To resolve
the remaining debt problems of the heavily indebted poor countries,
creditor and debtor countries and international financial institutions
should continue their efforts to find effective, equitable,
development-oriented and durable solutions to the debt problem,
including debt relief in the form of debt rescheduling, debt
reduction, debt swaps and, as appropriate, debt cancellation, as well
as grants and concessional flows that will help restore
creditworthiness.  The joint World Bank/International Monetary Fund
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries  Debt Initiative supported by the
Paris Club creditor countries is an important development to reduce
the multilateral debt problem.  Implementation of the  Initiative
requires additional financial resources from both bilateral and
multilateral creditors without affecting the support required for the
development activities of developing countries.

83.   A fuller understanding of the impact of indebtedness on the
pursuit of sustainable development by developing countries is needed. 
To this end, the United Nations Secretariat, the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund  are invited to collaborate with the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in further
considering the interrelationship between indebtedness and sustainable
development for developing countries.

84.   While international cooperation is very important in assisting
developing countries in their development efforts, in general
financing for the implementation of Agenda 21 will come from
countries' own public and private sectors.  Policies for promoting
domestic resource mobilization, including credit, could encompass
sound macroeconomic reforms, including fiscal and monetary policy
reforms, review and reform of existing subsidies, and the promotion of
personal savings and access to credit, especially micro-credit, in
particular for women.  Such policies should be decided by each
country, taking into account its own characteristics and capabilities
and different levels of development, especially as reflected in
national sustainable development strategies, where they exist.

85.   There is a need for making existing subsidies more transparent in
order to increase public awareness of their actual economic, social
and environmental impact, and for reforming or, where appropriate,
removing them.  Further national and international research in that
area should be promoted in order to assist Governments in identifying
and considering phasing-out subsidies that have market distorting, and
socially and environmentally damaging impacts.  Subsidy reductions
should take full account of the specific conditions and the different
levels of development of individual countries and should consider
potentially regressive impacts, particularly on developing countries. 
In addition, it would be desirable to use international cooperation
and coordination to promote the reduction of subsidies where these
have important implications for competitiveness.

86.   In order to reduce the barriers to the expanded use of economic
instruments, Governments and international organizations should
collect and share information on their use and introduce pilot schemes
that would, inter alia, demonstrate how to make the best use of them
while avoiding adverse effects on competitiveness and the terms of
trade of all countries, particularly developing countries, and on
marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society.  When introducing
economic instruments that raise the cost of economic activities for
households and small and medium-sized enterprises, Governments should
consider gradual phase-ins, public education programmes and targeted
technical assistance as strategies for reducing distributional
impacts.  Various studies and practical experience in a number of
countries, in particular developed countries, indicate that the
appropriate use of relevant economic instruments may help generate
positive possibilities for shifting consumer and producer behaviour to
more sustainable directions in those countries.  There is, however, a
need to conduct further studies and test practical experience in more
countries, taking into account country-specific conditions and the
acceptability, legitimacy, equity, efficiency and effectiveness of
such economic instruments.

87.   Innovative financial mechanisms are currently under discussion in
international and national forums but have not yet fully evolved
conceptually.  The Secretary-General is to submit a report concerning
innovative financing mechanisms to the Economic and Social Council at
its substantive session of 1997.  In view of the widespread interest
in those mechanisms, appropriate organizations, including the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund, are invited to consider conducting
forward-looking studies of concerted action on such mechanisms and to
share them with the Commission on Sustainable Development, other
relevant intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental
organizations.  In this regard, innovative funding should complement
official development assistance, not replace it.  New initiatives for
cooperative implementation of environment and development objectives
under mutually beneficial incentive structures should be further

Transfer of environmentally sound technologies

88.   The availability of scientific and technological information and
access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies are
essential requirements for sustainable development.  There is an
urgent need for developing countries to acquire greater access to
environmentally sound technologies if they are to meet the obligations
agreed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
and in the relevant international conventions.  The ability of
developing countries to participate in, benefit from and contribute to
rapid advances in science and technology can significantly influence
their development.  This calls for the urgent fulfilment of all the
Conference commitments concerning concrete measures for the transfer
of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries.  The
international community should promote, facilitate and finance, as
appropriate, access to and transfer of environmentally sound
technologies and the corresponding know-how, in particular to
developing countries, on favourable terms, including concessional and
preferential terms, as mutually agreed, taking into account the need
to protect intellectual property rights as well as the special needs
of developing countries for the implementation of Agenda 21.  Current
forms of cooperation involving the public and private sectors of
developing and developed countries should be built upon and expanded. 
In this context, it is important to identify barriers and restrictions
to the transfer of publicly and privately owned environmentally sound
technologies, with a view to reducing such constraints while creating
specific incentives, fiscal and otherwise, for the transfer of such
technologies.  Progress in the fulfilment of all the provisions
contained in chapter 34 of Agenda 21 should be reviewed regularly as
part of the multi-year work programme of the Commission on Sustainable

89.   Technology transfer and the development of the human and
institutional capacity to adapt, absorb and disseminate technologies,
as well as to generate technical knowledge and innovations, are part
of the same process and must be given equal importance.  Governments
have an important role to play in providing, inter alia, research and
development institutions with incentives to promote and contribute to
the development of institutional and human capacities.

90.   Much of the most advanced environmentally sound technology is
developed and held by the private sector.  The creation of an enabling
environment, on the part of both developed and developing countries,
including supportive economic and fiscal measures, as well as a
practical system of environmental regulations and compliance
mechanisms, can help to stimulate private sector investment in and
transfer of environmentally sound technology to developing countries. 
New ways of financial intermediation for the financing of
environmentally sound technologies, such as "green credit lines",
should be examined.  Further efforts should be made by Governments and
international development institutions to facilitate the transfer of
privately owned technology on concessional terms, as mutually agreed,
to developing countries, especially the least developed countries.

91.   A proportion of technology is held or owned by Governments and
public institutions or results from publicly funded research and
development activities.  The Government's control and influence over
the technological knowledge produced in publicly funded research and
development institutions open up the potential for the generation of
publicly owned technologies that could be made accessible to
developing countries, and could be an important means for Governments
to catalyse private sector technology transfer.  Proposals for the
further study of the options with respect to those technologies and
publicly funded research and development activities are to be

92.   Governments should create a legal and policy framework that is
conducive to technology-related private sector investments and
long-term sustainable development objectives.  Governments and
international development institutions should continue to play a key
role in establishing public-private partnerships, within and between
developed and developing countries and countries with economies in
transition.  Such partnerships are essential for linking the
advantages of the private sector - access to finance and technology,
managerial efficiency, entrepreneurial experience and engineering
expertise - with the capacity of Governments to create a policy
environment that is conducive to technology-related private sector
investments and long-term sustainable development objectives.

93.   The creation of centres for the transfer of technology at various
levels, including the regional level, could greatly contribute to
achieving the objective of transfer of environmentally sound
technologies to developing countries.  For this purpose, existing
United Nations bodies, including, as appropriate, the Commission on
Science and Technology for Development, the United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development, the United Nations Industrial Development
Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the
regional commissions, should cooperate and mechanisms be used, such as
technical cooperation among developing countries and economic
cooperation among developing countries.

94.   Governments and international development institutions can also
play an important role in bringing together companies from developed
and developing countries and countries with economies in transition so
that they can create sustainable and mutually beneficial business
linkages.  Incentives should be provided to stimulate the building of
joint ventures between small and medium-sized enterprises of developed
and developing countries and countries with economies in transition,
and cleaner production programmes in public and private companies
should be supported.

95.   Governments of developing countries should take appropriate
measures to strengthen South-South cooperation for technology transfer
and capacity-building.  Such measures could include the networking of
existing national information systems and sources on environmentally
sound technologies, and the networking of national cleaner production
centres, as well as the establishment of sector-specific regional
centres for technology transfer and capacity-building.  Interested
donor countries and international organizations should further assist
developing countries in those efforts through, inter alia, supporting
trilateral arrangements and contributing to the United Nations
Voluntary Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation.

96.   Attention must also be given to technology needs assessment as a
tool for Governments in identifying a portfolio for technology
transfer projects and capacity-building activities to be undertaken to
facilitate and accelerate the development, adoption and dissemination
of environmentally sound technologies in particular sectors of the
national economy.  It is also important for Governments to promote the
integration of environmental technology assessment with technology
needs assessment as an important tool for evaluating environmentally
sound technologies and the organizational, managerial and human
resource systems related to the proper use of those technologies.

97.   There is a need to further explore and enhance the potential of
global electronic information and telecommunication networks.  This
would enable countries to choose among the available technological
options that are most appropriate to their needs.  In this respect,
the international community should assist developing countries in
enhancing their capacities.


98.   Renewed commitment and support from the international community
is essential to support national efforts for capacity-building in
developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

99.   The United Nations Development Programme, inter alia, through its
Capacity 21 programme, should give priority attention to building
capacity for the elaboration of sustainable development strategies
based on participatory approaches.  In this context, developing
countries should be assisted, particularly in the areas of the design,
implementation and evaluation of programmes and projects.

100.  Capacity-building efforts should pay particular attention to the
needs of women in order to ensure that their skills and experience are
fully used in decision-making at all levels.  The special needs,
culture, traditions and expertise of indigenous people must be
recognized.  International financial institutions should continue to
give high priority to funding capacity-building for sustainable
development in developing countries and countries with economies in
transition.  Special attention should also be given to strengthening
the ability of developing countries to absorb and generate
technologies.  International cooperation needs to be strengthened to
promote the endogenous capacity of developing countries to utilize
scientific and technological developments from abroad and to adapt
them to local conditions.  The role of the private sector in
capacity-building should be further promoted and enhanced. 
South-South cooperation in capacity-building should be further
supported through "triangular" cooperative arrangements.  Both
developed and developing countries, in cooperation with relevant
international institutions, need to strengthen their efforts to
develop and implement strategies for more effective sharing of
environmental expertise and data.


101.  Public and private investment in science, education and training,
and research and development should be increased significantly, with
emphasis on the need to ensure equal access to opportunities for girls
and women.

102.  International consensus-building is facilitated by the
availability of authoritative scientific evidence.  There is a need
for further scientific cooperation, especially across disciplines, in
order to verify and strengthen scientific evidence and make it
accessible to developing countries.  This evidence is important for
assessing environmental conditions and changes.  Steps should also be
taken by Governments, academia, and scientific institutions to improve
access to scientific information related to the environment and
sustainable development.  The promotion of existing regional and
global networks may be useful for this purpose.

103.  Increasing efforts to build and strengthen scientific and
technological capacity in developing countries is an extremely
important objective.  Multilateral and bilateral donor agencies and
Governments, as well as specific funding mechanisms, should continue
to enhance their support for developing countries.  Attention should
also be given to countries with economies in transition.

104.  The international community should also actively collaborate in
promoting innovations in information and communication technologies
for the purpose of reducing environmental impacts, inter alia, by
taking approaches to technology transfer and cooperation that are
based on user needs.

Education and awareness

105.  Education increases human welfare, and is a decisive factor in
enabling people to become productive and responsible members of
society.  A fundamental prerequisite for sustainable development is an
adequately financed and effective educational system at all levels,
particularly the primary and secondary levels, that is accessible to
all and that augments both human capacity and well-being.  The core
themes of education for sustainability include lifelong learning,
interdisciplinary education, partnerships, multicultural education and
empowerment.  Priority should be given to ensuring women's and girls'
full and equal access to all levels of education and training. 
Special attention should also be paid to the training of teachers,
youth leaders and other educators.  Education should also be seen as a
means of empowering youth and vulnerable and marginalized groups,
including those in rural areas, through intergenerational partnerships
and peer education.  Even in countries with strong education systems,
there is a need to reorient education, awareness and training so as to
promote widespread public understanding, critical analysis and support
for sustainable development.  Education for a sustainable future
should engage a wide spectrum of institutions and sectors, including
but not limited to business/industry, international organizations,
youth, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations,
higher education, government, educators and foundations, to address
the concepts and issues of sustainable development, as embodied
throughout Agenda 21, and should include the preparation of
sustainable development education plans and programmes, as emphasized
in the work programme of the Commission on Sustainable Development on
the subject adopted in 1996. 39/ The concept of education for a
sustainable future will be further developed by the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in cooperation with

106.  It is necessary to support and strengthen universities and other
academic centres in promoting cooperation among them, particularly
cooperation between those of developing countries and those of
developed countries.

International legal instruments and the Rio Declaration on Environment
and Development

107.  The implementation and application of the principles contained in
the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development should be the
subject of regular assessment and reporting to the Commission on
Sustainable Development by the Secretariat in collaboration with the
United Nations Environment Programme, in particular.

108.  Access to information and broad public participation in
decision-making are fundamental to sustainable development.  Further
efforts are required to promote, in the light of country-specific
conditions, the integration of environment and development policies,
through appropriate legal and regulatory policies, instruments and
enforcement mechanisms at the national, state, provincial and local
levels.  At the national level, each individual should have
appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is
held by public authorities, including information on hazardous
materials and activities in the communities, and the opportunity to
participate in decision-making processes.  Governments and
legislators, with the support, where appropriate, of competent
international organizations, should establish judicial and
administrative procedures for legal redress and remedy of actions
affecting environment and development that may be unlawful or infringe
on rights under the law, and should provide access to individuals,
groups and organizations with a recognized legal interest.  Access
should be provided to effective judicial and administrative channels
for affected individuals and groups to ensure that all authorities,
both national and local, and other civil organizations remain
accountable for their actions in accordance with their obligations, at
the appropriate levels for the country concerned, taking into account
the judicial and administrative systems of the country concerned.

109.  Taking into account the provisions of chapter 39, particularly
paragraph 39.1, of Agenda 21, it is necessary to continue the
progressive development and, as and when appropriate, codification of
international law related to sustainable development.  Relevant bodies
in which such tasks are being undertaken should cooperate and
coordinate in this regard.

110.  Implementation of and compliance with commitments made under
international treaties and other instruments in the field of the
environment remain a priority.  Implementation can be promoted by
secure, sustained and predictable financial support, sufficient
institutional capacity, human resources and adequate access to
technology.  Cooperation on implementation between States on mutually
agreed terms may help reduce potential sources of conflict between
States.  In this context, States should further study and consider
methods to broaden and make more effective the range of techniques
available at present, taking into account relevant experience under
existing agreements and, where appropriate, modalities for dispute
avoidance and settlement, in accordance with the Charter of the United
Nations.  It is also important to further improve reporting and
data-collection systems and to further develop appropriate compliance
mechanisms and procedures, on a mutually agreed basis, to help and
encourage States to fulfil all their obligations, including means of
implementation, under multilateral environmental agreements. 
Developing countries should be assisted to develop these tools
according to country-specific conditions.

Information and tools for measuring progress

111.  The further development of cost-effective tools for collecting
and disseminating information for decision makers at all levels
through strengthened data collection, including, as appropriate,
gender-disaggregated data and information that makes visible the
unremunerated work of women for use in programme planning and
implementation, compilation and analysis is urgently needed.  In this
context, emphasis will be placed on support for national and
international scientific and technological data centres with
appropriate electronic communication links between them.

112.  A supportive environment needs to be established to enhance
national capacities and capabilities for information collection,
processing and dissemination, especially in developing countries, to
facilitate public access to information on global environmental issues
through appropriate means, including high-tech information and
communication infrastructure related to the global environment, in the
light of country-specific conditions, using, where available, such
tools as geographic information systems and video transmission
technology, including global mapping.  In this regard, international
cooperation is essential.

113.  Environmental impact assessments are an important national tool
for sustainable development.  In accordance with Principle 17 of the
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, environmental impact
assessments should be undertaken for proposed activities that are
likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are
subject to a decision of a competent national authority; where
appropriate, they should be made available early in the project cycle.

114.  The work programme of the Commission on Sustainable Development
on indicators of sustainable development should result in a
practicable and agreed set of indicators, suited to country-specific
conditions, including a limited number of aggregated indicators, to be
used at the national level, on a voluntary basis, by the year 2000. 
Such indicators of sustainable development, including, where
appropriate, and subject to nationally specific conditions,
sector-specific ones, should play an important role in monitoring
progress towards sustainable development at the national level and in
facilitating national reporting, as appropriate. 

115.  National reports on the implementation of Agenda 21 have proved
to be a valuable means of sharing information at the international and
regional levels and, even more important, of providing a focus for the
coordination of issues related to sustainable development at the
national level within individual countries.  National reporting should
continue (see also para. 133 (b) and (c) below).


116.  The achievement of sustainable development requires continued
support from international institutions.  The institutional framework
outlined in chapter 38 of Agenda 21 and determined by the General
Assembly in its resolution 47/191 of 22 December 1992 and other
relevant resolutions, including the specific functions and roles of
various organs, organizations and programmes within and outside the
United Nations system, will continue to be fully relevant in the
period after the nineteenth special session of the General Assembly. 
In the light of the ongoing discussions on reform within the United
Nations, international institutional arrangements in the area of
sustainable development are intended to contribute to the goal of
strengthening the entire United Nations system.  In this context, the
strengthening of the institutions for sustainable development, as well
as the achievement of the goals and objectives set out below are
particularly important.

              A.  Greater coherence in various intergovernmental
                  organizations and processes

117.  Given the increasing number of decision-making bodies concerned
with various aspects of sustainable development, including
international conventions, there is an ever greater need for better
policy coordination at the intergovernmental level, as well as for
continued and more concerted efforts to enhance collaboration among
the secretariats of those decision-making bodies.  Under the guidance
of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council should play a
strengthened role in coordinating the activities of the United Nations
system in the economic, social and related fields.

118.  The conferences of the parties to conventions signed at the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development or as a
result of it, as well as other conventions related to sustainable
development, should cooperate in exploring ways and means of
collaborating in their work to advance the effective implementation of
the conventions.  There is also a need for environmental conventions
to continue to pursue sustainable development objectives consistent
with their provisions and be fully responsive to Agenda 21.  To this
end, inter alia, the conferences of the parties to or governing bodies
of the conventions signed at the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, or as a result of it, and of other
relevant conventions and agreements should, if appropriate, give
consideration to the co-location of secretariats, to improving the
scheduling of meetings, to integrating national reporting
requirements, to improving the balance between sessions of the
conferences of the parties and sessions of their subsidiary bodies,
and to encouraging and facilitating the participation of Governments
in those sessions, at an appropriate level.

119.  Institutional arrangements for the convention secretariats should
provide effective support and efficient services, while ensuring the
appropriate autonomy necessary for them to be efficient at their
respective locations.  At the international and national levels there
is a need for, inter alia, better scientific assessment of ecological
linkages between the conventions; identification of programmes that
have multiple benefits; and enhanced public awareness-raising with
respect to the conventions.  Such tasks should be undertaken by the
United Nations Environment Programme in accordance with the relevant
decisions of its Governing Council and in full cooperation with the
conferences of the parties to and governing bodies of relevant
conventions.  Efforts of convention secretariats, in response to
requests from the respective conferences of the parties, to explore,
where appropriate, modalities for suitable liaison arrangements in
Geneva and/or New York for the purpose of enhancing linkages with
delegations and organizations at those United Nations centres are
welcomed and fully supported.

120.  It is necessary to strengthen the Inter-Agency Committee on
Sustainable Development of the Administrative Committee on
Coordination and its system of task managers, with a view to further
enhancing system-wide intersectoral cooperation and coordination for
the implementation of Agenda 21 and for the promotion of coordinated
follow-up to the major United Nations conferences in the area of
sustainable development.

121.  The Commission on Sustainable Development should promote
increased regional implementation of Agenda 21 in cooperation with
relevant regional and subregional organizations and the United Nations
regional commissions, in accordance with the results of their
priority-setting efforts, with a view to enhancing the role such
bodies play in the achievement of sustainable development objectives
agreed at the international level.  The regional commissions could
provide appropriate support, consistent with their work programmes, to
regional meetings of experts related to the implementation of Agenda

              B.  Role of relevant organizations and institutions
                  of the United Nations system                   

122.  In order to facilitate the national implementation of Agenda 21,
all organizations and programmes of the United Nations system, within
their respective areas of expertise and mandates, should strengthen,
individually and jointly, the support for national efforts to
implement Agenda 21 and make their efforts and actions consistent with
national plans, policies and priorities of member States. 
Coordination of United Nations activities at the field level should be
further enhanced through the resident coordinator system in full
consultation with national Governments.

123.  The role of United Nations Environment Programme, as the
principal United Nations body in the field of the environment, should
be further enhanced.  Taking into account its catalytic role, and in
conformity with Agenda 21 and the Nairobi Declaration on the Role and
Mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme, adopted on
7 February 1997, 40/ the Programme is to be the leading global
environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda,
promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of
sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves
as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.  In this
context, decision 19/32 of 4 April 1997 of the United Nations
Environment Programme Governing Council on governance of the
Programme 41/ and other related Governing Council decisions 41/ are
relevant. The role of the United Nations Environment Programme in the
further development of international environmental law should be
strengthened, including the development of coherent interlinkages
among relevant environmental conventions in cooperation with their
respective conferences of the parties or governing bodies.  In
performing its functions related to the conventions signed at the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development or as a
result of it, and other relevant conventions, the United Nations
Environment Programme should strive to promote the effective
implementation of those conventions in a manner consistent with the
provisions of the conventions and the decisions of the conferences of
the parties.

124.  The United Nations Environment Programme, in the performance of
its role, should focus on environmental issues, taking into account
the development perspective.  A revitalized Programme should be
supported by adequate, stable and predictable funding.  The Programme
should continue providing effective support to the Commission on
Sustainable Development, inter alia, in the form of scientific,
technical and policy information and analysis of and advice on global
environmental issues.

125.  The United Nations Development Programme should continue to
strengthen its contribution to and programmes in sustainable
development and the implementation of Agenda 21 at all levels,
particularly in the area of promoting capacity-building (including
through its Capacity 21 programme) in cooperation with other
organizations, as well as in the field of poverty eradication.

126.  The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in
accordance with General Assembly resolution 51/167 of 16 December 1996
and relevant decisions of the Trade and Development Board on the work
programme, should continue to play a key role in the implementation of
Agenda 21 through the integrated examination of linkages among trade,
investment, technology, finance and sustainable development.

127.  The Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade
Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
and the United Nations Environment Programme should advance their
coordinated work on trade and environment, involving other appropriate
international and regional organizations in their cooperation and
coordination.  In coordination with the World Trade Organization, the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United
Nations Environment Programme should continue to support efforts to
promote the integration of trade, environment and development.  The
Commission on Sustainable Development should continue to play its
important role in the deliberations on trade and environment so as to
facilitate the integrated consideration of all factors relevant for
achieving sustainable development.

128.  Implementation of the commitment of the international financial
institutions to sustainable development should continue to be
strengthened.  The World Bank has a significant role to play, bearing
in mind its expertise and the overall volume of resources that it

129.  Operationalization of the global mechanism of the United Nations
Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing
Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa is also

            C.  Future role and programme of work of the Commission
                on Sustainable Development

130.  The Commission on Sustainable Development, within its mandate as
specified in General Assembly resolution 47/191, will continue to
provide a central forum for reviewing progress and for urging further
implementation of Agenda 21 and other commitments made at the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development or as a result of
it; for conducting a high-level policy debate aimed at
consensus-building on sustainable development; and for catalysing
action and long-term commitment to sustainable development at all
levels.  It should continue to undertake these tasks in complementing
and providing interlinkages to the work of other United Nations
organs, organizations and bodies acting in the field of sustainable
development.  The Commission has a role to play in assessing the
challenges of globalization as they relate to sustainable development. 
The Commission should perform its functions in coordination with other
subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council and with related
organizations and institutions, including making recommendations,
within its mandate, to the Economic and Social Council, bearing in
mind the interrelated outcomes of recent United Nations conferences.

131.  The Commission should focus on issues that are crucial to
achieving the goals of sustainable development.  It should promote
policies that integrate economic, social and environmental dimensions
of sustainability and should provide for integrated consideration of
linkages, both among sectors and between sectoral and cross-sectoral
aspects of Agenda 21.  In this connection, the Commission should carry
out its work in such a manner as to avoid unnecessary duplication and
repetition of work undertaken by other relevant forums.

132.  In the light of the above, it is recommended that the Commission
on Sustainable Development adopt the multi-year programme of work for
the period 1998-2002 contained in the appendix below.

       D.  Methods of work of the Commission on Sustainable Development

133.  Based on the experience gained during the period 1993-1997, the
Commission, under the guidance of the Economic and Social Council,

   (a)   Make concerted efforts to attract the greater involvement in
its work of ministers and high-level national policy makers
responsible for specific economic and social sectors, who, in
particular, are encouraged to participate in the annual high-level
segment of the Commission, together with the ministers and policy
makers responsible for environment and development.  The high-level
segments of the Commission should become more interactive, and should
focus on the priority issues being considered at a particular session. 
The Bureau of the Commission should conduct timely and open-ended
consultations with the view to improving the organization of the work
of the high-level segment;

   (b)   Continue to provide a forum for the exchange of national
experience and best practices in the area of sustainable development,
including through voluntary national communications or reports. 
Consideration should be given to the results of ongoing work aimed at
streamlining requests for national information and reporting and to
the results of the "pilot phase" relating to indicators of sustainable
development.  In this context, the Commission should consider more
effective modalities for the further implementation of the commitments
made in Agenda 21, with appropriate emphasis on the means of
implementation.  Countries may wish to submit to the Commission, on a
voluntary basis, information regarding their efforts to incorporate
the relevant recommendations of other United Nations conferences in
national sustainable development strategies;

   (c)   Take into account regional developments related to the
implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development.  It should provide a forum for the
exchange of experience on regional and subregional initiatives and
regional collaboration for sustainable development.  This could
include the promotion of the voluntary regional exchange of national
experience in the implementation of Agenda 21 and, inter alia, the
possible development of modalities for reviews within regions by and
among those countries that voluntarily agree to do so.  In this
context, the Commission should encourage the availability of funding
for the implementation of initiatives related to such reviews;

   (d)   Establish closer interaction with international financial,
development and trade institutions, as well as with other relevant
bodies within and outside the United Nations system, including the
World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations
Development Programme, the World Trade Organization, the  United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations
Environment Programme, which, in turn, are invited to take full
account of the results of policy deliberations in the Commission and
to integrate them in their own work programmes and activities;

   (e)   Strengthen its interaction with representatives of major
groups, including through greater and better use of focused dialogue
sessions and round tables.  These groups are important resources in
operationalizing, managing and promoting sustainable development and
contribute to the implementation of Agenda 21.  The major groups are
encouraged to adopt arrangements for coordination and interaction in
providing inputs to the Commission.  Taking into account the
Commission's programme of work, this could include inputs from:

     (i) The scientific community and research institutions, relating
         to the greater understanding of the interactions between
         human activity and natural ecosystems and on how to manage
         global systems sustainably;

    (ii) Women, children and youth, indigenous people and their
         communities, non-governmental organizations, local
         authorities, workers and their trade unions and farmers on
         the elaboration, promotion and sharing of effective
         strategies, policies, practices and processes to promote
         sustainable development;

   (iii) Business and industry groups on the elaboration, promotion
         and sharing of sustainable development practices and the
         promotion of corporate responsibility and accountability;

     (f)  Organize the implementation of its next multi-year programme
of work in the most effective and productive way, including through
shortening its annual meeting to two weeks.  The inter-sessional ad
hoc working groups should help to focus the Commission's sessions by
identifying key elements to be discussed and important problems to be
addressed within specific items of the Commission's programme of work. 
Government hosted and funded expert meetings will continue to provide
inputs to the work of the Commission.

134.      The Secretary-General is invited to review the functioning of
the High-level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development and present
proposals on ways to promote more direct interaction between the Board
and the Commission, with a view to ensuring that the Board contributes
to the deliberations on specific themes considered by the Commission
in accordance with its programme of work.

135.      The work of the Committee on New and Renewable Sources of
Energy and on Energy for Development and the Committee on Natural
Resources should be more compatible with and supportive of the
programme of work of the Commission.  The Economic and Social Council,
in carrying out its functions related to the implementation of General
Assembly resolution 50/227 of 24 May 1996, should consider, at its
substantive session of 1997, the most effective means of bringing this

136.      The arrangements for the election of the Bureau should be
changed in order to allow the same Bureau to provide guidance in the
preparations for and to lead the work during the annual sessions of
the Commission.  The Commission would benefit from such a change.  The
Economic and Social Council should take the necessary action at its
substantive session of 1997 to ensure that these new arrangements take

137.      The next comprehensive review of progress achieved in the
implementation of Agenda 21 by the General Assembly will take place in
the year 2002.  The modalities of this review should be determined at
a later stage.


                      SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, 1998-2002

1998 session:  Overriding issues:  poverty/consumption and production
Sectoral theme:           Cross-sectoral theme:  Economic sector/major

Review of outstanding     SCIENCE/AWARENESS-     
chapters of the           RAISING                
Programme of Action       
for the Sustainable       
Development of Small      
Island Developing         
States a/                 
Main issues for an        Main issues for an     Main issues for an
integrated discussion     integrated discussion  integrated discussion
under the above theme:    under the above theme: under the above 

Agenda 21, chapters 2-8,  Agenda 21, chapters    Agenda 21, chapters
10-15, 18-21, 23-34, 36,  2-4, 6, 16, 23-37      4, 6, 9, 16, 17,
37 and 40                 and 40                 19-21, 23-35 and 40

1999 session:  Overriding issues:  poverty/consumption and production
Comprehensive review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable
Development of Small Island Developing States
Sectoral theme:           Cross-sectoral theme:  Economic sector/major 

                          PRODUCTION PATTERNS
Main issues for an        Main issues for an     Main issues for an
integrated discussion     integrated discussion  integrated discussion
under the above theme:    under the above theme: under the above

Agenda 21, chapters       Agenda 21, chapters    Agenda 21, chapters
5-7, 9, 15, 17, 19-32,    2-10, 14, 18-32,       2-7, 13, 15, 17, 
34-36, 39 and 40          34-36 and 40           23-33 and 36

2000 session:  Overriding issues:  poverty/consumption and production
Sectoral theme:           Cross-sectoral theme:  Economic sector/major

RESOURCES                 ECONOMIC GROWTH        Day of Indigenous
Main issues for an        Main issues for an     Main issues for an
integrated discussion     integrated discussion  integrated discussion
under the above theme:    under the above theme: under the above

Agenda 21, chapters       Agenda 21, chapters    Agenda 21, chapters
2-8, 10-37 and 40         2-4, 23-33, 36-38      2-7, 10-16, 18-21,
                          and 40                 23-34, 37 and 40

2001 session:  Overriding issues:  poverty/consumption and production
Sectoral theme:           Cross-sectoral theme:  Economic sector/major
                          DECISION-MAKING AND    ENERGY/TRANSPORT
                          COOPERATION FOR AN 
                          ENABLING ENVIRONMENT 
Main issues for an        Main issues for an     Main issues for an
integrated discussion     integrated discussion  integrated discussion
under the above theme:    under the above theme: under the above

Agenda 21, chapters 4,    Agenda 21, chapters 2, Agenda 21, chapters
6-9, 11-14, 17, 23-37,    4, 6, 8, 23-36 and     2-5, 8, 9, 20,
39 and 40                 38-40                  23-37 and 40

2002 session
Comprehensive review

a/ Review to include those chapters of the Programme of Action for the
Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States not covered
in the in-depth review carried out by the Commission on Sustainable
Development at its fourth session.

b/ Including forestry.


1/   Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions
Adopted by the Conference (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution 1, annex II.

2/   Ibid., annex I.

3/   Ibid., annex III (Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of
Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and
Sustainable Development for All Types of Forests).

4/    As provided in Agenda 21, the term "Governments", when used
therein, will be deemed to include as well the European Economic
Community (now the European Union) within its area of competence.

5/    All references in the present document to the platforms for or
programmes of action of major conferences should be considered in a
manner consistent with the reports of those conferences.

6/    Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 1997.

7/   A/AC.237/18 (Part II)/Add.1 and Corr.1, annex I.

8/   United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on Biological
Diversity (Environmental Law and Institution Programme Activity
Centre), June 1992.

9/   A/49/84/Add.2, annex, appendix II.

10/  A/CONF.164/37; see also A/50/550, annex I.

11/  Report of the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of
Small Island Developing States, Bridgetown, Barbados, 25 April-6 May
1994 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.94.I.18 and corrigenda),
chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.

12/  A/51/116, annex II.

13/  Official Records of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law
of the Sea, vol. XVII (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.84.V.3), document A/CONF.62/122.

14/  Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen,
6-12 March 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.8),
chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.

15/  Ibid., resolution 1, annex II.

16/  Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing,
4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.

17/  See E/CN.17/1997/19, annex, appendix.

18/  See Legal Instruments Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round
of Multilateral Trade Negotiations done at Marrakesh on 15 April 1994
(GATT secretariat publication, Sales No. GATT/1994-7), vol. I.

19/  Adopted by the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade
Organization held at Singapore in December 1996 (WT/MIN(96)/14).

20/  Report of the International Conference on Population and
Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1994 (United Nations publication,
Sales No. E.95.XIII.18).

21/  See World Health Organization, Primary Health Care:  Report of the
International Conference on Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata, Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics, 6-12 September 1978 (Geneva, 1978).

22/  Report of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements
(Habitat II), Istanbul, 3-14 June 1996 (A/CONF.165/14), chap. I,
resolution 1, annexes I and II.

23/  See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1996,
Supplement No. 8 (E/1996/28), chap. I, sect. C, decision 4/15, para.
45 (a).

24/  E/CN.17/1997/12.

25/  See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1997,
Supplement No. 9 (E/1997/29).

26/  FCCC/CP/1995/7/Add.1, sect. I, decision 1/CP.1.

27/  Report of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change on its second session, Geneva,
8-19 July 1996 (FCCC/CP/1996/15/Add.1), annex.

28/  United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1522, No. 26369.

29/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-second Session,
Supplement No. 25 (A/52/25), annex, decision 19/13.

30/  United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1673, No. 28911 (forthcoming).

31/  Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the
Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes
within Africa, International Legal Materials, vol. 30, No. 3 (May
1991), p. 775, and vol. 31, No. 1 (January 1992), p. 164.

32/  See The Courier Africa-Caribbean-Pacific-European Community, No.
120 (March-April 1990).

33/  Where "management" appears in the section on radioactive wastes,
it is defined as handling, treatment, storage, transportation,
including transboundary movement, and final disposal of such wastes.

34/  Report of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to
the Convention on Biological Diversity, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 3-14
November 1996 (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/38), annex II.

35/  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Report of
the World Food Summit, Rome, 13-17 November 1996, Part One (WFS
96/REP) (Rome, 1997), appendix.

36/  Report of the Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to
the Convention on Biological Diversity, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 3-14
November 1996 (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/38), annex II, decision III/12. 

37/  Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1997,
Supplement No. 9 (E/1997/29), chap. I, resolution 5/1, para. 6.

38/  See A/CONF.172/9 and Add.1.

39/  See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1996,
Supplement No. 8 (E/1996/28), chap. I, sect. C, decision 4/11.

40/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-second Session,
Supplement No. 25 (A/52/25), annex, decision 19/1, annex.

41/  Ibid., Supplement No. 25 (A/52/25), annex.

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document – in electronic and/or printed format – is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 18 December 1999 16:30:10 Comments and suggestions:



This is creepy.

For months and/or years, many of us have been studying the United Nations’ Agenda 21, especially the education chapters.  It’s the U.N.’s plan to change everything in the 21st century.

But just now, just today, we noticed that if you try to find it on the United Nations website, it is GONE.

The U.N. has deleted all public access to even reading it on the internet.  I am shocked.  If you didn’t know what it was, it’s an agenda the United Nations is trying to push on every global locality that puts green-mindedness and “sustainable development” above any other educational, political, or economic goal. It marginalizes the importance of academics, to push “sustainable education” on kids. It uses collectivity as a philosphy to get people to forget about individuality or things like property and property rights. It’s totally anti-nationalism, anti-liberty, anti-Constitution.  Organizations like I.C.L.E.I. and SmartGrowth and Prosperity 2020 are a part of it. But now you can’t even study it. They zapped it off the internet.

Maybe they deleted access because of Glenn Beck’s new book (fiction) that was also titled “Agenda 21”? I don’t know.

This is just unbelievable.

If you weren’t worried about Agenda 21 before, maybe this will persuade you to study it now.


The George Soros – American Institutes for Research Connection   1 comment

The Open Society Institute is a main client for the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

See it on the AIR Clients page.

Socialist George Soros is the Open Society Institute’s  financier.
The Utah State School Board just spent $39 million to buy the AIR’s version of Common Core tests.
Are the Utah State School Board and Superintendent blind to these political relationships?   Or do they simply agree with them?
I suppose they agree with these philosophies.
The socialists in Utah’s educational leadership do not realize that their actions define them as socialists.

No Real and Certain Rights for Parents in U.N. Treaty Text   Leave a comment

 Compiled by LeNell Heywood

“Children are treated much, much better in the special needs setting whenever their parents have real and certain rights. Those rights are gone if this Senate ratifies this treaty.”

— Michael Farris


From Concerned Women for America

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a treaty that undermines U.S. sovereignty. Despite its name, it does little to advance the needs of people with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will surrender American power into the hands of a foreign entity.


  • Americans with disabilities are already protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.
  • America is already the leading example for the world, providing freedom and justice for persons with disabilities.
  • Advocates of the Treaty argue that if the U.S. signs on it will send a strong message to other countries to do the same.
  • Those opposed to the Treaty understand the error of signing onto a Treaty where U.S. power is emasculated.


Excerpts from Michael Farris’ address to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

The way for the United States to continue to lead the world in this area is to ensure that American law and practice live up to the promises of the Declaration of Independence rather than the amorphous standards of a committee of 18 experts in Geneva.


The UNCRPD follows the trend of the second generation of human rights treaties which promote the idea that government, not parents, have the ultimate voice in decisions concerning their children.


Early human rights instruments were very supportive of the rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.


All of the rights that parents have under both traditional American law and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will be undermined by this treaty.


Children are treated much, much better in the special needs setting whenever their parents have real and certain rights.


Those rights are gone if this Senate ratifies this treaty.


Americans should make the law for America—we do not need a committee of experts in Geneva to look over our shoulders to help us determine what kind of policy we need to best protect Americans with special needs and disabilities.


It was American self-government and not international law that led to the significant advancements that this nation has seen in the appropriate law and policies concerning persons with disabilities.


International law has no track record of success that could lead any reasonable person to believe that international law would have any claim of superiority over American self-government.


We should pass whatever laws we need to ensure proper policies and practices for Americans with disabilities. But we should not give away our policy prerogatives to the superintendence of a committee of UN experts sitting in Geneva.


Treaty Text:

Be aware that the UN has its own language. Reading these documents having never read them before might not raise any red flags. We know from experience how the mere mention of treating people equally, especially in “developing nations” can mean a mandate to the wealthy nations to redistribute their funds to those nations, either through more foreign aid (hidden international tax) or through a direct international tax, which has been on the table for some time.


UT Senator Mike Lee is trying to stop this! Please thank him! UT Senator Hatch voted yes on the Motion to Proceed after committing to Senator Lee that he would vote no. Senator Hatch needs to hear from you. 

The vote for ratification is tomorrow.


Please read this information and contact your U.S. Senators today (number and locator link below) and pass it on. The vote will take place tomorrow at noon.


Ask them to oppose UNCRPD (U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121


Find your senators here:


The author of this blog thanks LeNell Heywood for compiling this information.

Education Leaders v. Religious Leaders   5 comments

Education Leaders v. Religious Leaders

By Susie Schnell and Oak Norton

“And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” -Mosiah 23:14

Dewey, Goodlad, McKay, Benson

Education Leaders: Goodlad, Dewey, Bloom, etc.                 v.        Religious Leaders:  Benson, Packer, McKay, Lewis, etc.

Public   education has served as a check on the power of parents, and this is   another powerful reason for maintaining it.” – John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, pg. 165“[schools] should liberate   students from the ways of thinking imposed by religions and other traditions   of thought.”    -John Goodlad, “Education and Community,” in Democracy, Education, and the Schools, Roger   Stone, pg. 92. “There   is a spirit working among the Saints to educate their own offspring. If our   children will be all we will have for a foundation of glory in eternity, how   needful that they be properly trained… There   are wolves among us in sheep’s clothing ready to lead astray our little ones…   Wolves do not devour old sheep when there are any young ones. I have herded   sheep long enough to know that. Look after your children.” – Elder John W. Taylor, (Collected Discourses 2:138.)“There   are three dangers that threaten the   church from within, and the authorities need to awaken to the fact   that the people should be warned unceasingly against them. As I see   them, they are flattery of prominent   men in the world, false   educational ideas, and sexual impurity.”-President Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine p. 312-313.)
“Most youth   still hold the same values of their parents… if we do not alter this pattern,   if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.” – John Goodlad, Schooling for the Future, Issue #9, 1971 “Many activities link the values of one generation to   the next, but perhaps the most central of these activities is parents teaching children in the home.   This is especially true when we consider the teaching of values, moral and ethical standards, and faith.” -Elder L. Tom Perry, April 2010 LDS General Conference
Parents do not   own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education   fully.” – John Goodlad   / Developing Democratic Character in the Young, pg. 164 “[We should] reassert the primary right and   responsibility of parents for the total education of their children, including social values, religious   convictions, and political concepts. Schools should be reminded that their   primary field of competence is academic, not social adjustment, or world   citizenship, or sex education. Parents should stand firm on this and not be   intimidated by ‘professional educators.’ After all, it’s their children and   their money.” -Ezra Taft Benson (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 231)
Education is a   task for both parents and state. The state, parents, and children all have interests that must be protected.” – John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, 2001, pg. 164 “While   other institutions, such as church and school, can assist parents to ‘train   up a child in the way he [or she] should go’ (Proverbs 22:6), ultimately this   responsibility rests with parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is parents who are entrusted with the   care and development of our Heavenly Father’s children. ” -Elder L. Tom Perry, April 2010 LDS General Conference
“The curriculum of the future will be what one might   call the humanistic curriculum.” – John Goodlad   / Directions of Curriculum Change, The NEA Journal, March 1966“Education is thus a most powerful ally of   Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What   can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and   teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day   program of humanistic teaching?” -Charles   Potter, co-signer with John Dewey of the Humanist Manifesto, “Humanism: a New   Religion”, pg. 128(Humanism   is the denial of God and elevation of man. It is the “Korihor” doctrine if   you are LDS.) “Humanism is a threat to the work of the   Lord. One   of the greatest threats to the work of the Lord today comes from false   educational ideas. There is a growing tendency of teachers within and without   the church to make academic interpretations of gospel teachings – to read, as   a prophet leader has said, ‘by the lamp of their own conceit.’ Unfortunately,   much in the sciences, the arts, politics and the entertainment field, as has   been well said by an eminent scholar, ‘all dominated by this humanistic approach which ignores God and   his word as revealed through the prophets.’ This kind of worldly system   apparently hopes to draw men away from God by making man the ‘measure of all   things’ as some worldly philosophers have said.” -Harold   B. Lee, Conference Report 10/68 p. 59.“There is promise, given under inspiration from the Almighty, set forth in these beautiful words: “God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost.” (D&C 121:26.) The humanists who criticize us, the so-called intellectuals who demean us, speak only from ignorance of this manifestation… They have not heard it because they have not sought after it and prepared themselves to be worthy of it. … Do not be trapped by the sophistry of the world which for the most part is negative and which seldom, if ever, bears good fruit. … Rather, “look to God and live.” (Alma 37:47.)” -Gordon B. Hinckley,  10/83 GC, Be Not Deceived“We   are very particular to forbid anyone from preaching Catholicism, or   Protestantism, or Mormonism, or Judaism, in a public school classroom, but   for some reason we are very patient with those who teach the negative   expression of religion. In the separation of church and state we   ought to demand more protection from the agnostic, from the atheist, from the   communist, from the skeptic, from the humanist and the pragmatist, than we   have yet been given… I   submit that the atheist has no more right to teach the fundamentals of his   sect in the public school than does the theist. Any system in the schools or   in society that protects the destruction of faith and forbids, in turn, the   defense of it must ultimately destroy the moral fiber of the people.” -Elder   Boyd K. Packer, What Every Freshman Should Know, September 1973 Ensign
Enlightened   social engineering is required to face situations that demand global   action now.” – John Goodlad / Schooling for a Global Age, pg. xiii “If they embark on this course the difference   between the old and the new education will be an important one. Where the old initiated, the new merely   ‘conditions’. The old dealt with its pupils as grown birds deal with young   birds when they teach them to fly; the new deals with them more as the   poultry-keeper deals with young birds- making them thus or thus for purposes   of which the birds know nothing. In a word, the old was a kind of   propagation-men transmitting manhood to men; the new is merely propaganda.” –C.S. Lewis, Abolition of Man, Pg. 22
“…educators   must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would   be no scientific advancement. So it is   with morals and patriotism.” – John Goodlad / Education for Everyone: Agenda for   Education in a Democracy, Woods Learning Center, pg. 6“…a student attains ‘higher order thinking’   when he no longer believes in right or wrong. A large part of what we   call good teaching is a teacher´s ability to obtain affective objectives by   challenging the student’s fixed beliefs. …a large part of what we call teaching is that the teacher should be   able to use education to reorganize a child’s thoughts, attitudes, and   feelings.” -Benjamin   Bloom, psychologist and educational theorist, “Major Categories in the   Taxonomy of Educational Objectives,” pg. 185 Unfortunately, other educators deny   the existence of God or deem God irrelevant to the human condition. Persons who accept this view deny the existence   of moral absolutes. They maintain that right and wrong are relative   concepts, and morality is merely a matter of personal choice or expediency.” -Elder   Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, October 1992, pg. 60“God uses scripture to unmask erroneous   thinking, false traditions, and sin with its devastating effects. He is a   tender parent who would spare us needless suffering and grief and at the same   time help us realize our divine potential. The scriptures, for example, discredit an ancient philosophy that has   come back into vogue in our day—the philosophy of Korihor that there are no   absolute moral standards, that “every man prosper[s] according to his   genius, and that every man conquer[s] according to his strength; and   whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” and “that when a man [is] dead, that   [is] the end thereof” (Alma 30:17–18)” -Elder   D. Todd Christofferson, April 2010 LDS General Conference
I walked out   of jail and into my first teaching position—and from that day until this   I’ve thought of myself as a teacher, but I’ve also understood teaching as a   project intimately connected with social justice.” -Bill Ayers at the World Education Forum in Caracas,   Venezuela in front of Pres. Hugo Chavez“It is my expectation that Teacher Education for   Democracy and Social Justice will   become a rich resource for continuing this multi-layered conversation-from   democratic belief to democratic action-that is the hallmark of educational   renewal.” -John Goodlad’s forward to “Teacher Education for Democracy and Social   Justice,” Nicholas Michelli and David Lee Keiser “In a   complete reversal from a century ago, many today would dispute with Alma   about the seriousness of immorality. Others would argue that it’s all   relative or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, He   excuses all sins and misdeeds because of His love for us—there is no need for   repentance. Or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social   justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior.” -Elder   D. Todd Christofferson, April 2010 LDS General Conference“I wonder how much we offend Satan if the proclamation   of our faith is limited only to the great humanitarian work this church does   throughout the world, marvelous as these activities are. When we preach the gospel of social justice, no doubt the devil is   not troubled.” -President James E. Faust, Liahona, November 1995, pg.   3
“…the state we   should strive for is better described in Deweyan terms as a social democracy.” – John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, 2001, pg. 153 I feel to warn you that one of the chief   means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our   educational institutions. There is more than one reason why the Church is   advising our youth to attend colleges close to their homes where institutes   of religion are available. It gives the parents the opportunity to stay close   to their children, and if they become alerted and informed, these parents can help expose the   deceptions of men like Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, John Keynes and others.   There are much worse things today that can happen to a child than not getting   a full education. In fact, some of the worst things have happened to our   children while attending colleges led by administrators who wink at   subversion and amorality.” -Ezra   Taft Benson (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 307.)
“I do not see how any honest educational reformer   in western countries can deny that the greatest practical obstacle in the way   of introducing into schools that connection with social life which he regards   as desirable is the great part played by personal competition and desire for   private profit in our economic life. This fact almost makes it necessary that   in important respects school activities should be protected from social   contacts and connections, instead of being organized to create them. The Russian educational situation is   enough to convert one to the idea that only in a society based upon the   cooperative principle can the ideals of educational reformers be adequately   carried into operation.” – John Dewey, Impressions of Soviet Russia   and the Revolutionary World, pg. 86“I believe that the school is primarily a social   institution. Education being a social process, the school is simply that form   of community life in which all those agencies are concentrated that will be   most effective in bringing the child to share   in the inherited resources of the race, and to use his own powers for social   ends. I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not   a preparation for future living.” -John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed, January 1897 When you speak of peace, the Communists   mean the cessation of all opposition to Communism, the acceptance of a   Communist world. Then, and only then, can there be peace. This alone is   what peace means in Communist language. Once this is understood the utter   falsity and hypocrisy of Communist references to peace becomes at once   obvious. I have mentioned these things   simply to emphasize one dominant force which has as its ultimate achievement   and victory-the destruction of capitalism, the destruction of the free agency   of man which God has given him, and that destruction may be brought about-as   advocated by Marx himself-in a brutal way. What is the other force? It is   just the opposite. Jesus said to the man who came and asked him which is the   greatest law, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou   serve, and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as   thyself.’ When Marx was asked one time what was his object, he answered, ‘To   dethrone God.’ -David   O. McKay, Two Contending Forces, BYU Speech, May 18, 1960
Every child in America entering school at   the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances   to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents,   toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this   nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these   sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.” -Dr.   Chester M. Pierce, Harvard Professor of Education and Psychiatry, in an   address to the Childhood International Education Seminar in 1973 “From the   5th grade through the 4th year of college, our young people are being   indoctrinated with a Marxist philosophy and I am fearful of the harvest. The younger generation is further to the   left than most adults realize. The old concepts of our Founding Fathers are   scoffed and jeered at by young moderns whose goals appear to be the   destruction of integrity and virtue, and the glorification of pleasure,   thrills, and self-indulgence.” -Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg. 321
Education should aim at destroying free   will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout   the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school   masters would have wished …” -Bertrand   Russell, quoting Gottlieb Fichte the head of psychology that influenced Hegel   and others. “Wherefore,   because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him…I caused that he should be cast down;” -Moses 4:3“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will,   and bring to pass much righteousness;” -Doctrine & Covenants 58:27“We must protect this American base from   the brainwashing, increasingly administered to our youth in many educational   institutions across the land, by some misinformed instructors and some wolves   in sheep’s clothing. Their false indoctrination, often perpetrated behind the   front of so-called academic freedom, is leaving behind many faithless   students, socialist-oriented, who are easy subjects for state tyranny.” -Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1962

The Battle Over the American Classroom   3 comments

There is a battle going on for control of American classrooms.

It’s a battle about which many students, teachers and State School Board Members are still blissfully unaware.

It’s a battle between the rights of each individual and each locality, versus the collective, as defined by the United Nations and, now, even by the U.S. Dept. of Education.

It’s a battle for what gets planted in the mind of the child.

It’s a battle for constitutional, local control (of students’ standards, tests, and curriculum) versus worldwide control (with education to be determined by federal and global cooperatives without any significant local representation.)

It’s also a battle between teaching the traditional academics: reading, writing, math, science and history, versus teaching the United Nations’ Agenda 21, which envisions a new “education” —that many are calling indoctrination.

The new “education” marginalizes academics.

It calls itself “World Class Education” but it is only a communistic sameness of learning across all countries.  It prioritizes “sustainable development,” “Social Justice” (redistribution of global wealth), the “collective good,” “going green” and “global citizenship” far above teaching academics.

And it presents “climate change” as if it were a real and settled science.

     The Department of Education, sadly, has betrayed us, lining up with the United Nations in this battle.  Link:

Today,  the battle for the rights over a child’s life and learning has hit the news in a new form, under the title of  a United Nations treaty for the Disabled.   But it’s the same fight.  It’s a fight for our children.

In the U.N. Disability treaty, the word “disability” is fuzzily defined.  Not really defined.  It uses an “evolving” definition.  Slippery!  Does “disabled’ mean a child with a mental handicap, including dyslexia or another common academic struggle?  Does it mean someone with a missing finger? A missing leg? A missing tooth?  And why should the government be the one to determine what is in such a child’s best interests, over the parents’ feelings?  This is a slippery slope of giving another sacred, hard-won American freedom, of parental rights over the child, utterly away.

This United Nations treaty poses as a helpful move, to ensure rights for the disabled, but what it really does is make the government, and not the parents, decision makers about what is in the best interest of a child, including whether home schooling is legal.

That provision, in the words of Rick Santorum, is “a direct assault on us and our family.”

Some also say that the treaty calls for people with disabilities to have “access to the same sexual and reproductive health programs as others” which means it might be linked to abortion.

So often, what starts off as an apparently  kindly socialistic “access to” a thing, soon becomes compulsory.

Former Utah Supreme Court Justice Dallin H. Oaks ruled that:

“Family autonomy helps to assure the diversity characteristic of a free society.  There is no surer way to preserve pluralism than to allow parents maximum latitude in rearing their own children.  Much of the rich variety in American culture has been transmitted from generation to generation by determined parents who were acting against the best interest of their children, as defined by official dogma.  Conversely, there is no surer way to threaten pluralism than to terminate the rights of parents who contradict officially approved values imposed by reformers empowered to determine what is in the ‘best interest’ of someone else’s child.”

—Dallin Oaks’ point is so vital.  Parents’ idea of what is in the best interest of their children does NOT necessarily match the “official dogma” of governments. 

No education reformers –U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, President Obama, Pearson CEA Sir Michael Barber, Bill Ayers, UNESCO– have the right to determine what is in the best interest of someone else’s child.  Period.

Arne Duncan’s 2010 speech exposes the U.S. Dept. of Education’s stance: that education should be the same everywhere, globally, and that competition and innovation is of the past.  Listen to this communist speak.  He is our U.S. Secretary of Education.  He is in charge of American K-12 children.  He even quotes Sir Michael Barber as if that’s a good thing.

“It is an absolute honor to address UNESCO. During the last 65 years, UNESCO has done so much to advance the cause of education and gender equity…   The promise of universal education was then a lonely beacon—a light to guide the way to peace and the rebuilding of nations across the globe. Today, the world… faces a crisis of a different sort, the global economic crisis. And education is still the beacon lighting the path forward—perhaps more so today than ever before.

Education is still the key to eliminating gender inequities, to reducing poverty, to creating a sustainable planet… education is the new currency…

… the Obama administration has an ambitious and unified theory of action that propels our agenda. The challenge of transforming education in America cannot be met by quick-fix solutions or isolated reforms. It can only be accomplished with a clear, coherent, and coordinated vision of reform.

Second, while America must improve its stagnant educational and economic performance, President Obama and I reject the protectionist Cold War-era assumption that improving economic competitiveness is somehow a zero-sum game, with one nation’s gain being another country’s loss.

I want to make the case to you today that enhancing educational attainment and economic viability, both at home and abroad, is really more of a win-win game; it is an opportunity to grow the economic pie, instead of carve it up.

As President Obama said in his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last year, “Any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.”

There is so much that the United States has to learn from nations with high-performing education systems… I am convinced that the U.S. education system now has an unprecedented opportunity to get dramatically better. Nothing—nothing—is more important in the long-run to American prosperity than boosting the skills and attainment of the nation’s students… Closing the achievement gap and closing the opportunity gap is the civil rights issue of our generation. One quarter of U.S. high school students drop out or fail to graduate on time. Almost one million students leave our schools for the streets each year. That is economically unsustainable and morally unacceptable.

One of the more unusual and sobering press conferences I participated in last year was the release of a report by a group of top retired generals and admirals. Here was the stunning conclusion of their report: 75 percent of young Americans, between the ages of 17 to 24, are unable to enlist in the military today because they have failed to graduate from high school…   education is taking on more and more importance around the globe. In the last decade, international competition in higher education and the job market has grown dramatically…

Yet there is also a paradox at the heart of America’s efforts to bolster international competitiveness.

To succeed in the global economy, the United States, just like other nations, will have to become both more economically competitive and more collaborative.

In the information age, more international competition has spawned more international collaboration. Today, education is a global public good unconstrained by national boundaries.

… economic interdependence brings new global challenges and educational demands…. America alone cannot combat terrorism or curb climate change. To succeed, we must collaborate with other countries.

These new partnerships must also inspire students to take a bigger and deeper view of their civic obligations—not only to their countries of origin but to the betterment of the global community. A just and socially responsible society must also be anchored in civic engagement for the public good.

…Yet even as the United States works to strengthen its educational system, it is important to remember that advancing educational attainment and achievement everywhere brings benefits not just to the U.S. but around the globe. In the knowledge economy, education is the new game-changer driving economic growth.

Education, as Nelson Mandela says, “is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

From Indonesia to Pakistan to Kenya, education has immeasurable power to promote growth and stability. It is absolutely imperative that the United States seize the opportunity to help Haiti build a stronger school system from the ruins of its old, broken one—just as America coalesced to build a fast-improving, vibrant school system in New Orleans after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.

…Educating girls and integrating them into the labor force is especially critical to breaking the cycle of poverty. It is hard to imagine a better world without a global commitment to providing better education for women and youth—including the 72 million children who do not attend primary school today.

And don’t forget that a better-educated world would be a safer world, too… My department has been pleased to partner with the U.S. Agency for International Development to help ensure that our best domestic practices are shared world-wide.

The United States provides over a billion dollars annually to partner countries working on educational reform.

Our goal for the coming year will be to work closely with global partners, including UNESCO, to promote qualitative improvements and system-strengthening…

Ultimately, education is the great equalizer. It is the one force that can consistently overcome differences in background, culture, and privilege…

Now, it is true that not all will share equally in the benefits of the knowledge economy. College-educated workers will benefit the most. That makes President Obama’s 2020 goal, the goal of once again having the highest proportion of college graduates, all the more central to building U.S. competitiveness.

… President Obama, a progressive president… wants to improve teacher evaluation…The President and I both recognize that improving educational outcomes for students is hard work with no easy answers. And transformational reform especially takes time in the United States…

The North Star guiding the alignment of our cradle-to-career education agenda is President Obama’s goal that, by the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That goal can only be achieved by creating a strong cradle-to-career continuum that starts with early childhood learning and extends all the way to college and careers.

In the U.S., early learning has come into its own. It is now recognized as the first and most critical stage in human development. We have a special opportunity today to build a bigger and better coordinated system of early care and education that prepares children for success in school and life—in place of a system with uneven quality and access.

…Tragically, low-income and minority students do not have equitable access to effective teachers in the United States. Too often, the children who need the most help get the least. Too often, we perpetuate poverty and social failure—and that has got to stop.

…The United States cannot substantially boost graduation rates and promise a world-class education to every child without ending the cycle of failure in the lowest-performing five percent of our schools. Year after year, and in some cases for decades, these schools cheated children out of the opportunity for an excellent education. As adults, as educators, as leaders, America passively observed this educational failure with a complacency that is deeply disturbing.

Fewer than 2,000 high schools in the United States—a manageable number—produce half of all its dropouts. These “dropout factories” produce almost 75 percent—three-fourths—of our dropouts from the minority community, our African-American and Latino boys and girls.

…Our vision of reform takes account of the fact that, in several respects, the governance of education in the United States is unusual. Traditionally, the federal government in the U.S. has had a limited role in education policy.

Before the 1960s, almost all policymaking and education funding was a state and local responsibility. In the mid-1960s, the federal role expanded to include enforcing civil rights laws to ensure that poor, minority, and disabled students, as well as English language learners, had access to a high-quality education.

As the federal role in education grew, so did the bureaucracy. All too often, the U.S. Department of Education operated more like a compliance machine, instead of an engine of innovation. The department typically focused on ensuring that formula funds reached their intended recipients in the proper fashion. It focused on inputs—not educational outcomes or equity.

The Obama administration has sought to fundamentally shift the federal role, so that the Department is doing much more to support reform and innovation in states, districts, and local communities. While the vast majority of department funding is still formula funding, the Recovery Act created additional competitive funding like the high-visibility $4.35 billion Race to the Top program and the $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund, which we call i3.

I’ve said that America is now in the midst of a “quiet revolution” in school reform. And this is very much a revolution driven by leaders in statehouses, state school superintendents, local lawmakers, district leaders, union heads, school boards, parents, principals, and teachers.

To cite just one example, the department’s Race to the Top Program challenged states to craft concrete, comprehensive plans for reforming their education systems. The response was nothing less than extraordinary. Forty-six states submitted applications—and the competition drove a national conversation about education reform. Thirty-two states changed specific laws that posed barriers to innovation. And even states that did not win awards now have a state roadmap for reform hammered out. [UTAH]

The i3 program also had a phenomenal response. The $650 million i3 fund offered support to school districts, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education to scale-up promising practices.

…I said earlier that the United States now has a unique opportunity to transform our education system in ways that will resonate for decades to come. Last year and this year, the federal government provided unprecedented funds to support education and reform.

…In March of 2009, President Obama called on the nation’s governors and state school chiefs to “develop standards and assessments that don’t simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they possess 21st century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking and entrepreneurship and creativity.” Virtually everyone thought the president was dreaming.

But today, 37 states and the District of Columbia have already chosen to adopt the new state-crafted [state-crafted] Common Core standards in math and English. Not studying it, not thinking about it, not issuing a white paper—they have actually done it. Over three-fourths of all U.S. public school students now reside in states that have voluntarily adopted higher, common… standards… That is an absolute game-changer …

The second game-changer is that states have banded together in large consortia to develop a new generation of assessments aligned with the states’ Common Core standards. In September, I announced the results of the department’s $350 million Race to the Top assessment completion to design this next generation of assessments.

Two state consortiums, which together cover 44 states and the District of Columbia, won awards. These new assessments will have much in common with the first-rate assessments now used in many high-performing countries outside the U.S. When these new assessments are in use in the 2014-15 school year, millions of U.S. schoolchildren, parents, and teachers will know, for the first time, if students truly are on-track for colleges and careers.

For the first time, many teachers will have the assessments they have longed for…

    Sir Michael Barber’s book, Instruction to Deliver, reminds us that the unglamorous work of reform matters enormously…

…we are committed to establishing a different relationship with the 50 states—one more focused on providing tailored support to improve student outcomes.

… America has a great deal to learn from the educational practices of other countries…

…I welcome this international dialogue, which is only beginning. In December, in Washington, I will join the OECD Secretary General for the global announcement of the 2009 PISA results. In March, we will be sponsoring an International Summit on the Teaching Profession

Thinking of the future as a contest among nations vying for larger pieces of a finite economic pie is a recipe for protectionism and global strife. Expanding educational attainment everywhere is the best way to grow the pie for all…”   – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, 2010 speech

Full text:

Common Core = The Sustainability Movement   Leave a comment

More evidence that Common Core = the Agenda 21 “Sustainability” education agenda:

November 1, 2012,

ICCS Newsletter

ASCD has released a new report titled Fulfilling the Promise of the Common Core State Standards: Moving from Adoption to Implementation to Sustainability illuminating activities educators and policymakers at all levels can undertake to successfully implement the Common Core State Standards across the nation. The recommendations included in Fulfilling the Promise of the Common Core State Standards are derived from data gathered from field work, surveys, and educator summits ASCD hosted along with CCSSO in Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, and Utah. Based on the data gathered, ASCD has made a number of key recommendations to … implement the Common Core State Standards… Among the recommendations are to:

  • Align initiatives into comprehensive reforms;
  • Make sure educators deeply understand the standards and the key instructional shifts they require; and
  • Vet instructional resources for quality and alignment with the standards.

Posted December 2, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Colorado Conference Dec. 6 To Expose Common Core Initiative   1 comment


Bob Schaffer was the man who blew the whistle on Marc Tucker and Hillary Clinton’s plot to take over American education.  Schaffer got their letter recorded in the official Congressional Record years ago.

Robert Scott was the very wise Education Commissionar who, together with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, rejected Common Core for Texas –and enraged Sec. of Education Arne Duncan.

Bill Evers, who is a Hoover Institute, Stanford University research fellow, also served on Mitt Romney’s Education Committee.  He spoke on the danger of Common Core education this summer, to a standing room only group in Salt Lake City.

Sandra Stotsky served on the official Common Core Validation Committee (and refused to sign off on the standards because, among other things, they cut out classic literature and call it improving education.)

Jim Stergios and Ted Rebarber spoke this summer, here in Salt Lake City, to our senate Education Committee, testifying of the alarming error it was to adopt Common Core on educational and on Constitutional grounds.

This is going to be a great meeting.  If you get to go, please leave a comment here, letting others know what you learned.

Internationally Imposed Education In Schools   Leave a comment

Internationally Imposed Education In Schools
By Susie Schell
Common Core needs to be considered a means to an end, not the end. The end is International Education. We don’t have to speculate any more. We have new information:
The US Dept of Education website speaks of education for the “Global Public Good”. Here are some titles: “Broadening the Spirit of Respect and Cooperation for the Global Public Good” and “Strengthening Education as a Global Public Good”. The emphasis now is on International Education. Common Core is not the ends. It is only the means to get us there.

Another phrase for “International Education” is “World Class  Education”. Traditionalists, like you and me, would define this term as  excellent education, the best in the world, so we don’t see any red  flags when it is used. I believe the new progressive definition of  “World Class Education” is a ‘one-size-fits-all international Agenda 21  equity in education’.
In other words, children in all countries learn  exactly the same thing, mainly, Agenda 21 UN goals of sustainability,  working for the common good, climate change mixed with basic academics  in order to succeed in a global world. We need to start understanding  these new definitions of old terms in order to understand the  international goals coming to schools near you.  Arne Duncan says he no longer wants the U.S. to compete with other countries. He wants us to work with them, using the same curriculum so there will be equity among all nations.
He thinks the goal for the US Dept of Ed is to create equity across the world and to reach out and teach  other nations as well, using our tax money. We are now partnered with  the UN to bring these goals to pass.
The author of this blog thanks Susie Schell for her research.
If there is any doubt in any reader’s mind whether the agenda of the U.S. Department of Education’s agenda is precisely following and implementing the one-world, one-entity, control goals of the United Nations’ Agenda 21, please read this 2010 statement from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:
Statement on International Education Week 2010
by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
November 15-19, 2010

It is my privilege to invite you to participate in the 11th annual International Education Week, November 15-19, 2010.  International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State.  It celebrates the importance and benefits of international education in the United States and around the world.  This year’s theme is International Education:  Striving for a Sustainable Future.

…We are reminded that the challenges we face today are increasingly borderless.  Climate change, the environment, and the economy are but some of the issues that affect our daily lives and demand our attention on a global scale.  Finding sustainable solutions is imperative and will require an unprecedented level of international cooperation.  [NOTICE HOW HE USES ‘CLIMATE CHANGE’ AS A MATTER OF UNCONTESTED, SETTLED SCIENCE;  NOTICE HOW HE NEVER SPEAKS OF LITERACY, MATH, OR LEARNING TRUTH, BUT HE USES THE EXACT TERMINOLOGY OF THE U.N.’S AGENDA 21 WHICH IS TO REORIENT EDUCATION TO BE ABOUT “COLLECTIVITY AND SUSTAINABILITY.”]

A complete education in the 21st century must teach our children about their interdependent world, and it must prepare them to be good leaders and good global citizens …as they participate in international education and international exchange, our students can gain the knowledge and experiences to help them contribute to a sustainable future for all.  [IF YOU EMPHASIZE BEING A GLOBAL CITIZEN AND BEING INTERDEPENDENT OVER BEING AN INDEPENDENT U.S. OR OTHER CITIZEN, YOU GIVE UP TEACHING NATIONAL PATRIOTISM, THE SAFETY OF NATIONAL LAW, A SENSE OF VALIANT DEFENSE AGAINST ENEMIES, AND THE PROTECTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION]

…I strongly urge everyone to join the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State in celebrating international education…

U.S. Dept of Education Contact: JoAnne Livingston
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